National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Doll-- Doll--"Nina"
Rendered by Renee A. Monfalcone (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paperboard
overall: 48.7 x 39.7 cm (19 3/16 x 15 5/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 24" high
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Dolls from the Index of American Design
Object 22 of 26

Papier-mâché was a widely used substance for making dolls. Papier-mâché itself is a composition made from paper pulp combined with various other substances. Dolls made of this material reached a height of popularity in the mid-nineteenth century. They first appeared much earlier, however. Edouard Fournier's History of Children's Toys and Games mentions the use of this product by dollmakers from the time of Francis I of France, about 1540. Centuries later, in 1858, the first known patent for a doll's head in the United States was issued to Ludwig Greiner of Philadelphia for his paper-mâché model. This doll, named "Nina," has a unique history. Behind her innocent-looking face, in the hollow of her paper-mâché head, she smuggled morphine and quinine across the border during the Civil War.

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