In the 19th century, several books for girls offered instructions for making a fortune-telling doll or Fate Lady. These dolls became needlework projects for girls and rewarded their efforts with predictions about their futures. Most instructions described how to make the doll's skirt from leaves of folded paper on which were written forecasts of days to come. Young girls and boys hoped for fortunes like "Though rain will fall and dark clouds come, the sun will shine to guide thee home." Not all predictions, though, foretold happy events. The Fate Ladies suggested some somber prophesies too: "There'll come to you full many a trouble, before old age has bent you double," and "The Fate Lady says and her words are true, good fortune never will follow you."

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  • Title: Doll
  • Creator: Societe Francaise De Fabrication de Bebe et Jouets
  • Date Created: 1911
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Type: Dolls from the Early Twentieth Century
  • Medium: paper, cloth, composition, bisque
  • Object ID: 80.1389