World travelers of the 19th century often purchased shell dolls as mementos of the seaside resorts they visited. Local artisans used tiny native seashells to make costumes, some of which represented local or folk clothing. The artisans often used ready-made wooden figures, called "penny woodens" and mass produced in Germany, for their souvenir shell dolls. Other shell dolls made use of tiny papier mache dolls also available from Germany and in sizes ranging from about one inch to two or three feet tall. Shell artisans worked mosaic patterns of color and texture into the shell "clothing" they made for their souvenirs.


  • Title: Doll:Shell Doll
  • Date Created: 1860
  • Location: Germany
  • Type: Travel & Souvenirs, More Dolls, Dolls from the Nineteenth Century, Collector Dolls, Hobbies and Crafts
  • Medium: wood, shell
  • Object ID: 79.9237

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