Polly Heckewelder Rag Doll, ca. 1872
Well, we know that it was my grandmother's great-aunt's doll. She was born in the mid-1800s, and we know the doll came from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and it was made by the Moravians. That's all the information we know.
Right, well, it's a lovely rag doll. It's got a beautifully hand-painted face, all-cloth body, super clothes, great leather shoes with a keystone from Pennsylvania on the bottom. And the family history's pretty good. It is a Moravian rag doll. And it was made in Pennsylvania. A lot of them were made in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. And there was a lady by the name of Polly Heckewelder who had the sewing society for the Moravians. And Pennsylvania's very well-known for the Amish, Mennonites, and the Moravian society is a little less well-known. These dolls actually were made for children to play with. They weren't just a decorative object to sit around a Victorian parlor. But this particular one, somebody really never played with it very much. In today's collecting society in America, rag dolls are very, very, very, very popular. And they call this the Polly Heckewelder rag doll. And this might be actually one of the original ones made in 1872, which sort of goes with your family history. I sold a Polly Heckewelder rag doll, made in 1900, for $2,000. So if this is one of the original ones from 1872, you're probably looking at $4,000, $5,000, or, if you get a rag doll collector, whatever... American rags are very competitive, very popular, and very hard to find, especially in this pristine condition. I mean, Polly is a darn beautiful doll.
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