American Folk Art Boy Rag Doll, ca. 1895

Value (2008) | $2,000 Retail$3,000 Retail

GUEST:
He belonged to my step-dad, who was raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas. And a couple of years ago, my step-dad was 81, and we kind of decided it was time to close up the house up in Hot Springs, because he wasn't traveling up there anymore. And we were going through some closets, and my sister started pushing through the clothes, and saw that and she jumped. She kind of screamed, because she thought it was a person, a baby. (chuckles) So we took it out and looked at it, and we were just amazed. It's just we'd never seen anything like it. We think it was his. We're pretty sure, because it's a boy doll.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
It could have been his mother's even, but we really don't know anything about it. It's just really different.

APPRAISER:
And does he have a name?

GUEST:
I call him Chucky.

APPRAISER:
You call him "Chucky." Okay, well... he doesn't look like Chucky in the movie, but it's what they call an American folk art rag doll.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Probably produced in that area. They're sort of one-of-a-kind dolls. He's got fabulous charm, incredible, large hands with big, pointy fingers, which are cool. The shoes were probably originally baby shoes.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The clothing is faded, but it's completely original. He's got a great embossed nose, beautifully painted face. He's a painted, oilcloth rag doll. And with his oilcloth all hand painted, he's faded down a little bit with age. But you can still see his eyes,

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
his mouth, the nose, and the painted hair. And probably dates, I would say, from... the middle 1890s, maybe to early 1900.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I can't tell you who made it. Maybe a family member made it. Or it was given to them, and it's just a beautiful example of American folk art. So it sort of falls into that field as well as the doll collecting field.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And in beautiful condition. In a really good doll shop or a really good doll show, or a folk art antiques show, you'd expect to pay at least $2,000 to $3,000 for him. So he's a really nice find,

GUEST:
Interesting, yeah.

APPRAISER:
and I'm glad you're going to keep him in the family.

GUEST:
Guess I'd better get him insured.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2008)
$2,000 Retail$3,000 Retail
Event
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Material
Cloth, Paint

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