It will be an additional pleasure to the many thousands of readers of The Strand Magazine to know that Her Majesty has been gracious enough to not only take a warm interest in this little article, but also to favour them with the following interesting details, which she forwarded through Sir Henry Ponsonby.
"Her Majesty was very much devoted to dolls, and indeed played with them till she was nearly fourteen years old.
"Her favourites were small dolls — small wooden dolls, which she could occupy herself with dressing, and who had a house in which they could be placed.
"None of Her Majesty's children cared for dolls as she did, but then, they had girl companions, which she never had.
"Miss Victoria Conroy (afterwards Mrs. Hanmer) came to see her once a week, and occasionally others played with her, but with these exceptions she was left alone with the companionship of her dolls."
In a postscript to the above letter Sir H. Ponsonby adds: — "Since writing the above, I have been informed that it is not correct that 'none of Her Majesty's children cared for dolls,' as the four eldest Princesses were very fond of them."
In a subsequent note Sir Henry adds:— "The Queen usually dressed the dolls from some costumes she saw either in the theatre or private life."
There is, indeed, ample evidence in the care and attention lavished upon the dolls of the immense importance with which they were regarded by their Royal little mistress; and an additional and interesting proof of this is to be found in what one might call the "dolls' archives." These records are to be found in an ordinary copy-book, now a little yellow with years, on the inside cover of which is written in a childish, straggling, but determined handwriting: "List of my dolls." Then follows in delicate feminine writing the name of the doll, by whom it was dressed, and the character it represented, though this particular is sometimes omitted. When the doll represents an actress, the date and name of the ballet are also given, by means of which one is enabled to determine the date of the dressing, which must have been between 1831 and 1833, when, Sir Henry says, "the dolls were packed away."
Of the one hundred and thirty-two dolls preserved, the Queen herself dressed no fewer than thirty-two, in a few of which she was helped by Baroness Lehzen, a fact that is scrupulously recorded in the book; and they deserve to be handed down to posterity as an example of the patience and ingenuity and exquisite handiwork of a twelve-year-old Princess.
The dolls are of the most unpromising material, and would be regarded with scorn by the average Board school child of to-day, whose toys, thanks to modern philanthropists, are of the most extravagant and expensive description. But if the pleasures of imagination mean anything; if planning and creating and achieving are in themselves delightful to a child, and the cutting out and making of "dolly's clothes" especially, a charm to a little girl only second to nursing a live baby, then there is no doubt that the Princess obtained many more hours of pure happiness from her extensive wooden family than if it had been launched upon her ready dressed by the most expensive of Parisian modistes. Whether expensive dolls were not obtainable at that period, or whether the Princess preferred these droll little wooden creatures, as more suitable for the representation of historical and theatrical personages, I know not; but the whole collection is made up of them, and they certainly make admirable little puppets, being articulated at the knees, thighs, joints, elbows and shoulders, and available for every kind of dramatic gesture and attitude.
It must be admitted that they are not aesthetically beautiful, with their Dutch doll — not Dutch — type of face. Occasionally, owing to a chin being a little more pointed, or a nose a little blunter, there is a slight variation of expression; but, with the exception of height, which ranges from three inches to nine inches, they are precisely the same. There is the queerest mixture of infancy and matronliness in their little wooden faces, due to the combination of small, sharp noses, and bright vermilion cheeks (consisting of a big dab of paint in one spot), with broad, placid brows, over which, neatly parted on each temple, are painted elaborate, elderly, greyish curls. The remainder of the hair is coal black, and is relieved by a tiny yellow comb perched upon the back of the head.
The dolls dressed by Her Majesty are for the most part theatrical personages and Court ladies, and include also three males (of whom there are only some seven or eight in the whole collection) and a few little babies, tiny creatures made of rag, with painted muslin faces. The workmanship in the frocks is simply exquisite; tiny ruffles are sewn with fairy stitches; wee pockets on aprons (it must be borne in mind for dolls of five or six inches) are delicately finished off with minute bows — little handkerchiefs not more than half an inch square are embroidered with red silk initials and have drawn borders; and there are chatelaines of white and gold beads so small that they almost slip out of one's hands in handling, and one is struck afresh by the deftness of finger and the unwearied patience that must have been possessed by the youthful fashioner. Not nearly so much care has been, however, expended on the underclothing, which is of the most limited description, many Court ladies having to be content with a single satin slip — the dancers alone, for obvious reasons, being provided (though not invariably) with silk pantaloons.
A whole group of dolls represent characters in the ballet of "Kenilworth," which was performed in 1831 at the famous King's Theatre. It would be interesting to know whether Her Majesty was herself taken to the opera*, (NOTES BY THE QUEEN: *She went to the opera and saw the ballet, of which she was very fond, several times.) or whether the costumes were described to her, or whether the knowledge was obtained from prints*, (NOTES BY THE QUEEN: *None existed.) which latter theory, owing to the minuteness of detail, seems the most probable.
To this set the Princess Victoria contributed two of the characters, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Amy Robsart in riding* costume. (NOTES BY THE QUEEN: *Not riding costume.)
THE EARL OF LEICESTER (1), who presents a distinctively masculine physiognomy, owing to the addition of painted black moustaches and whiskers, and the absence of a back comb, is attired in pink satin hose, slashed with white silk, a white satin tabbed tunic with pink satin slashings, and a white lace ruffle. On his breast he wears the blue ribbon of the Garter; and though he has no hat, probably a broad-brimmed velvet hat, with curling white plumes, found loose in the doll box, is his property.
AMY ROBSART (51), who was played in the ballet by Mile. Brocard (105), a very popular dancer of the period, has a long, narrow riding habit of green satin, with a short habit bodice of the same material trimmed with a narrow gold line down the front, and coming to a point at the waist. Her sleeves are tight, and she wears a large broad-brimmed black velvet hat of the "Di Vernon " shape, with white curling feathers falling on to her forehead. This is one of the most realistic of all the dolls, and the dress was no doubt an exact reproduction of the one worn by the actress.
QUEEN ELIZABETH (27) in this ballet (dressed by Baroness Lehzen) is magnificently attired in a robe of gold tinsel stuff with puffed sleeves and a heavy girdle of gold beads. Her long round train hanging from her shoulder is made of the same material trimmed with ermine and lined with bright crimson plush, as are also her shoes. Round her neck she wears pearls; and a wonderful little crown of crimson plush, with points of gold paper festooned with pearls, adorns the Royal head.
Lovers of "Kenilworth" will remember how Amy, after her long ride and rencontre with Lambourne, escapes to the grotto, and is horrified at her appearance reflected in the basin of the fountain there. Scott tells us how, "reasoning like a woman to whom external appearance is scarcely in any circumstances a matter of unimportance, and like a beauty who had some confidence in the power of her own charms, she laid aside her travelling cloak and capotaine hat. The dress she wore under these vestments was somewhat of a theatrical cast, so as to suit the assumed personage of one of the females who was to act in the pageant."
She wears a white silk petticoat embroidered in gold, and a redingote of pink satin also embroidered in gold and trimmed with green satin. The front of her bodice is low and resembles a stomacher, with trimmings of gold embroidery to match the petticoat. The sleeves are very striking, and, so far as I know, are not in Elizabethan style. There are tight, very much puffed under sleeves of white satin, over which are large open wings of pink satin embroidered in green satin thread. The accessories of this beautifully dressed lady include a crown of gold paper ornamented with gold and green beads, a high lace ruffle, several rows of tiny pearls to which a cross of gold beads is attached, and white leather shoes with gold rosettes.
Now and again one comes across a genuine Dutch face, which has been obviously recognised by the Princess or her attendants, and its possessor characteristically attired as a Dutch peasant. There is the quaintest little doll imaginable, called ERNESTINE (23), which, according to the doll-book, "was brought from Berne." Unlike the other dolls, it is made of white leather, is about four inches in height, and the in breadth. She is a little squat, dumpy woman, with a huge waist and a squareness of countenance and figure and frock that is irresistibly humorous. Her short, full black skirt, edged with red, her green-striped silk apron, muslin chemisette, frilled cape, black velvet stomacher and braces give the buxom little woman an absurd air of reality and familiarity, sending your mind instantly to Swiss figures and scenes.
But to return to the dolls clothed by Her Majesty, naturally the chief interest to most of us. Male characters seem to have been especial favourites, though they are by no means so elaborately cared for as the ladies.
Count Almaviva (25) (shown in image one) is, as will be remembered, one of the principal male characters in "The Marriage of Figaro" and in "The Barber of Seville," both of which operas were frequently played about this period. He looks a very dashing Count indeed in baggy white silk breeches, a long sky-blue satin frock coat finished off with a lace ruffle, and on his head a circular broad-brimmed hat of blue satin, adorned with blue and silver striped ribbon and a crown of frilled white muslin.
Some of the lady dancers are charming. There is MLLE. PAULINE DUVERNAY (17). Who does not remember Thackeray's raptures about Mile. Duvernay? —"When I think of Duvernay prancing in as the Bayadere, I say it was a vision of loveliness such as mortal eyes can't see nowadays. How well I remember the tune to which she used to appear! Kaled used to say to the Sultan: 'My lord, a troop of those dancing and singing girls, called Bayaderes, approaches,' and to the dash of cymbals and the thumping of my heart, in she used to dance. There has never been anything like it — never. There never will be." Well, I say, when these words come into one's mind at the sight of the word Duvernay, it is natural to give this young lady a longer glance. The Queen has dressed her, not as she sprung upon Thackeray's bewitched gaze, but as she appeared in the ballet of the "Sleeping Beauty," in a fairy-like robe of white tarlatan, shining with tiny glittering shapes cut out of green, gold, and crimson tinsel. Pearls encircle her fair neck, and there are the remains of some sort of coiffure upon her head.
A robe with an immense amount of needlework in it and of the most artistic order (MRS. DUDLEY (30)) is worn by "Mrs. Dudley, formerly Mile. Leontine H'berle," as she appeared in the ballet of "L'Anneau Magique," in 1832 — "made by Princess Victoria." It is of white satin covered with white Spanish net, and has on each side of the skirt tiny panels made of white satin piping, tied at each end with infinitesimally small bows of white ribbon, and ornamented about half way up with tiny bunches of pink roses. The beautiful precision and symmetry of the bows and panels; the delicate finish of every part of the dress; the care with which the silver coronal and wreath of pink roses have been disposed on the head, constitute a piece of work which is, in its way, if one may use so big a word, a little "masterpiece" that would satisfy and gladden the heart of Mr. Ruskin.
The wreaths and ribbons are, I think, quite unique, and I should feel disposed to the belief that they were manufactured for this especial purpose.
The ribbon, extensively used for the trimmings, is the prettiest thing of its kind. It is very narrow, well under a quarter of an inch in breadth, and is composed of two, and sometimes three, shades of colour, in the softest pinks, yellows, mauves, and blues. As for the wreathing, it is an artistic triumph. Each little pink or yellow rose, which would lie easily on a threepenny piece, has its neatly adjusted green centre and stalk and accompanying leaves, all of which in their turn are cut and shaped with wonderful skill. Several of the dolls are dressed in the different characters taken by the celebrated Marie Taglioni and her sisters* (NOTES BY THE QUEEN. *She had none.) in the ballets of "La Bayadere," "La Sylphide," and "William Tell."** (NOTES BY THE QUEEN. **In an incidental dance.)
The Princess must at an early age have been expert with her knitting needles*, (NOTES BY THE QUEEN. *No. Baroness Lehzen did the minute work.) for the ballerina, as a Tyrolean peasant in "William Tell" (14), wears neat little pink and blue stockings and nicely fitting white shoes. She has a short crimson silk skirt edged with bands of green and gold braid, a bodice of crimson and gold brocade with short sleeves of white muslin, and the most coquettish of muslin and lace aprons. There is another doll representing Taglioni in "La Sylphide" (10), dressed by Baroness Lehzen in a very much abbreviated muslin dress, which is, however, of less consequence when we perceive she has charming little gossamer wings painted in white and gold. A silver wreath is pinned on her hair. She again appears dressed by the Baroness as a peasant^ (NOTES BY THE QUEEN. ^Dancing girl.) in "La Bayadere" (7), and is a romantic and picturesque figure in her scarlet stomacher, wee scarlet tippet and big blue velvet capote with bunches of pink roses.
The number and variety of the Liliputian mummers set one wondering whether the Princess had a miniature theatre, and, if so, whether she arranged her puppets simply as lay figures in tableaux, or whether they acted their parts with make-believe speech and gesture. What a fascinating picture it is of the little painted cardboard theatre, and what an enviable post for a stage manager! No discontented "stars," nor fault-finding critics, nor ill-mannered audience, but the most docile and manageable company of lace-bespangled ladies and gentlemen, and the politest of fashionable audiences, composed of becomingly-attired Court ladies in the stalls.
In such a company the splendour of Mile. Porphyrin Brocard's frock would have assuredly entitled her to the position of premiere danseuse (47). She was one of the celebrated sisters and, according to the book, afterwards married the Duke of Lorraine. The Princess has arrayed her in a short silver gauze petticoat and tight white satin bodice with silver spangles; a gay green garland is on her head, and a gold chain, to which hangs a beautifully made pocket of white and gold beads, encircles her slender waist. There is an apron worn by one of the dolls dressed by the Queen — as Mile. Sylvie Leconte, the dancer, who is said to have come second to Taglioni, and who married Prince Poniatowsky — which won my deepest admiration. It might have been woven in elfland, so fragile and fairy-like is the white areophane of which it is wrought, and so exquisite are the curves and so sure the stitching of blue, violet and grass-green silks with which it is embellished (48).
But the number of dancers is infinite; there is Mile. Proche (43) as she appeared in "Un Jour a Naples," in the brightest of yellow silk skirts, with prune-coloured trimmings round the bottom, and bodice also of prune colour. The sleeves are of the lightest and most delicate white lace. The little table at which she is seen standing (in our illustration below) is a faithful model in mahogany of the tables in fashion at that period. The tiny chair is made of cardboard, covered with light silk by the Princess. Another such chair is to be seen in the illustration which represents Miss Poole (46); and again in "La Sonnambula" as the neatest and most bewitching of peasant damsels in a short white silk skirt trimmed with scarlet ribbons, a scarlet cloth stomacher, and a provoking big-brimmed hat of purple velvet and scarlet ribbons (40); Mile. Augusta dancing through the popular "La Bayadere" (37), in white tarlatan and silver; Sylvie Leconte (44), this time in blue satin and pink and yellow roses.
A member of the "superior sex" dressed by the Princess Victoria is M. Albert (52), probably the celebrated ballet master of the King's Theatre, whose costume puzzles me somewhat, as it seems to have stopped at a very early stage of the proceedings. He is a particularly long, and if one may use the word, "bony," creature, and is airily clad in a single garment made of fine white linen. If there were not other circumstances (to which I shall allude in a moment) it would be proper to assume — as the garment comes but a short way below the waist — that other (forgotten) garments were intended to supplement it. But on a closer inspection I noticed to my surprise that the shift was neatly trimmed at the bottom with rows of the narrowest and palest of blue ribbon, whilst a blue silken sash encircled the waist, and a narrow piping of blue drew the fulness into the neck. It is clear then, from this decoration, that M. Albert's somewhat unconventional costume was premeditated.
Mile. Euphrosine Ancilin (41) is in white satin and muslin, and a muslin apron with the tiniest of pockets worked in silver thread; Mile. Melanie Ancilin, in white tarlatan and mauve shaded ribbons (42), and Mile. Celestine, who afterwards became Lady Lenox, in white silk and net and pale blue ribbons (76). Here is the wonderful child-actress, little Miss Poole (46), a tiny doll in a single pink gauze garment of the briefest dimensions, probably as she appeared in the operetta "Old and Young," singing her famous song of "Meet me by moonlight alone;" and there is Pauline Leroux (39), another of Thackeray's favourites, as she appeared in "Masaniello," a bewitching peasant maiden in fawn and pale blue — to all of which the indefatigable little Princess played the part of costumiere.
Then Baroness Lehzen contributes Fatima Lady Brighton (77) as Miss Cawse appeared in "Azor and Zemira," a very popular opera, founded upon the old fairy story of Beauty and the Beast. Fatima is the material-minded elder sister who asked her father to bring back rich silks, and whose love of gorgeous apparel is shown in her dress of brilliant yellow silk, the petticoat and corsage of which are edged with a silky, fluffy white fur. At the back there is a big scarlet satin panier, and there are puffed sleeves of the same silk. Minetta, Mile. Brocrard (105), in the "Maid of Palaseau," is in rose-coloured silk and jewels, and there are a whole host of sprightly nymphs in white satin and muslin, and almost unknown in modern stuffs. A white net cap, with white lace frills and flying pink ribbons, is tied on under her round chin; and if there were many such pleasant-faced, buxom housekeepers in the olden days, it is no wonder that the romancers make so much of them.
The prettiest and most perfect thing in the way of hats is a cream satin one the name of which I know not, though it often figures in French pictures of eighteenth century belles. It has a very broad brim, narrowing to the side, and a crown which rises high and broad at the back and slants down towards the front. The broad brim is lined with pink satin, and narrow pink ribbon is twisted about the crown and tied into a big bow at the left side, the corresponding side having a knot ribbons and rosettes and roses.
There is a surprising variety of hats and bonnets and caps. A prince of caps is worn by "Mrs. Martha, Housekeeper" (82). She is a bigger and more substantial doll than the rest, with a fat, round, good-humoured face, a broad nose, and an air of prosperous complacency which send your thoughts back to oak chests, lavender - pressed sheets, and the attractive "family housekeeper "of a certain type of domestic novel. Her dress is as appropriate and "real" as it could be; a long, full, white lawn frock, full bodice, with sleeves drawn in at the wrist, and a long pinked-out apron of that delicious old-fashioned shade of deep rich purple which is of lace and pink ribbon — altogether a very smart and dashing piece of millinery.
A much more sober piecs of goods — but quite as beautifully made — is a white watered silk hat worn by Lady Bulkley (107). It is smaller in shape, with a broad brim narrowing behind, and a crown which is square and high in front and low and narrow behind. It is elegantly trimmed with Spanish lace and white roses, and has white lace lappets tied with white ribbons. Both hats are firmly made on cardboard and are neatly lined and finished.
There is a peasant's cap worn by Mile. Rosalie Taglioni (8) which would ravish the heart of any little girl. It is fashioned of violet velvet trimmed with narrow gold braid, and has projecting out on either side two Liliputian gold pins with real round golden knobs. Phillippa Countess of Jedburgh (69) wears an opera hat of exactly the same kind as was worn by Court ladies to the theatre in the early part of this century. It is made of black velvet with an immense brim, which is bound with pink cord, and is trimmed with pink marabout feathers both outside and inside the brim.
All the Court ladies, in contradistinction to the ladies of the ballet, have moderately long full skirts, and, as a rule, low pointed bodices and girot sleeves — and there is not a sign of the flounces and crinolines so much worn immediately before Queen Victoria's accession, and again later.
Lady Arnold (100) seems to have been one of the Princess's favourites, as she appears in at least five different costumes. She looks particularly well in a full-skirted, short-waisted dress of pale yellow crape trimmed with knots of shaded mauve ribbon of the most delicate colour (made by the Princess). The same lady is also attired in a curious old-fashioned style of dress, not altogether unlike the Russian tunic of to-day. It is a straight scanty gown of white lawn, and resembles a nightdress with a flounce at the bottom. Over it there is a sort of paletot reaching below the knees, which fastens in front and has a frill round the bottom, and a sash of white ribbon confining the waist. It is curious and quaint, and has an old-world air (80), but it must be confessed it belongs to the kingdom of dowdyism, and looks odd amongst the pointed bodices and full skirts of the smarter Court dames.
A beautifully robed grande dame (the part of Court milliner being played by the Princess) is Lady Shrewsbury (50), in white silk with a magenta satin train from the shoulder, and a Medici collar of Spanish lace with pearl ornaments. A crimson plush turban adorned with pearls surmounts her temples, and gives her a majestic and awe-inspiring appearance.
Another superb personage is Catherine COUNTESS OF CLAREMONT (91), whose cloak of pink satin edged with ermine, and having a deep pelerine of the same fur, is of the most costly description. The sumptuousness of her toilette is increased by a long pink satin train embroidered in silver, and an elaborate headdress of white net, lace, and gold flowers. Several of the ladies (probably those of maturer age, as the fashion for young married ladies to wear caps was rather earlier) wear becoming caps of net and ribbons with their evening toilettes; and one cannot help wishing that modern elderly ladies adopted the practice, for what could be more becoming than the one that graces the head of the Duchess of Warwick (71), or the elegant and at the same time sedate affair worn by the Countess of Derwentwater (120), whose dress of white corded silk, festooned with bunches of yellow roses and pale blue ribbon, is made with admirable taste by the Princess? (See Image One.)
There is a lady, Harriet Arnold, Duchess of Parma (115), who seems to have been very frequently married; and it is on one of the four happy occasions when she figured in bridal costume that she appears by Princess Victoria — presumably whilst the lady is still in the summer of youth. For she wears the maiden's wedding gown of white satin, with a long white net veil falling from the back of her head, in two ends, to her feet. Only a plain silver band adorns her head at present, but there are signs that flowers — possibly a wreath of orange-blossom — once rested there. (See Image One.)
Several tiny dolls, representing the children of various aristocratic personages, are dressed by the Princess with a simplicity that would as much delight the Rational Dress Society as it would pain the aesthetic sensibilities of a Parisian mother. There are the little Pulteneys, (CHILDREN OF ISABELLA LADY PULTENEY, 98 AND 99.) daughters of Lady Pulteney, who is herself exquisitely attired by the Princess in white silk, strewn with tiny flowers of pink ribbon (97) — wearing sensible, full, loose frocks of checked silk (98 and 99); another little child, the daughter of a Countess, is in a flowing frock of yellow silk with a sash (61); whilst in curious contrast to these young persons are two quaint little children (3 and 4), designated in the book as the children of the Earl and Countess of Dudley.
They wear the elaborate costume that babies wore early in the eighteenth century, with long white satin skirts reaching below their feet, and short pointed bodices, one of blue the other of pink satin, with long coats to match, and tight, close-fitting little caps.
This does not nearly exhaust the galaxy of fair Court ladies, but I hope I have given sufficiently exact details to give my readers some notion of the ingenuity and taste and thought and artistic skill that have been expended upon their costumes, no two of which are precisely similar, there being always some slight distinction in the colour or mode of trimming, or the fashioning of a sleeve or apron (aprons, it must be remembered, played an important part in a fashionable lady's toilette in those days), which gives individuality to the wearer. A moment's glance at the style of decoration employed in lady Agathina Arnold's skirt (100), and that of Lady Nina Morton (96), will give a better idea of this rich variety in ornamentation than pages of description. Both skirts are made by the Princess, but in one the trimming is a long line of narrow ribbon extending from the hem of the skirt to about half way, where it is finished off with loops, whilst in the other the scheme is a groundwork of crimson satin dotted with white silk rosettes.
VISCOUNTESS STUART (93). Quite different again are Viscountess Stuart's (93) pink and green silk embroidered robe, Lady Newport's (in) pink satin gown with a somewhat crude hand-painted border in blue and green, and the Duchess of Worcester's (88) costume of yellow satin with puff sleeves shrouded with Spanish net, all of which are either wholly or partially dressed by the Princess.
Amongst the Court personages I must not forget Sir William Arnold, a comical-looking elderly gentleman in wide green trousers and a long, snuff-coloured overcoat, with a turn-down collar opening at the neck to show a blue waistcoat.
COUNTESS OF ROTHESAY, AND CHILDREN (66). There is a curious and mirth-inspiring Court group consisting of a stately lady, Alice Countess of Rothesay (66), in white satin and a white boa, who holds in each arm a long-clothes baby. The tiny creatures are evidently twins, though one infant is attired in satin with a white silken girdle, whilst the other wears humble lawn. Perhaps they are boys, and the satin baby is the heir.
Another queer little personage is a "stage soldier" (131), in white duck trousers and a scarlet coat trimmed in military fashion with gold braid.
But the most lovable creature in the whole collection is a Miss Arnold (81). She is just a sweet natural young girl — a gentlewoman, every inch of her — in the simplest of white muslin frocks with a faintly tinted lilac sash and neck ribbon. Over her shoulders is a lace fichu reaching in long ends to her feet. You forget for an instant about wooden joints and painted cheeks; and, peering beneath her coal-scuttle bonnet, look eagerly for the fair and serious face that goes along with this Puritan maiden. What a bewitching thing this poke bonnet is, too, of rich yellow straw, trimmed with an artist's eye for colour, in severe lines of purple ribbon tying under the demure chin! Was Miss Arnold's name Priscilla or Dorothy, and were all the young dandies sighing for this charming lady, and did she get love-letters and verses about broken hearts and Cupid by the score?
How absurd it seems that such an idea should be evoked by a common twopenny Dutch doll, and how some people will scoff; but I declare that there is something not easily definable about this young creature which would touch the least sentimental of persons.
There are, as we have seen, several little tables and chairs covered in silk and chintz, and some fascinating tiny bead trinkets and little crystal tea services of the kind sold in boxes some twenty years ago, but which are very difficult to procure nowadays. One of these services, set out upon a tiny table, is here represented. The two ladies who are standing at the table are Madame Proche Brocard as she appeared in the ballet of "Kenilworth" in 1831-33; and Madame Zephyrine Galebstie (38).
This, I think, ends my pleasant task, though a word of mention must be made of a small white satin cradle, made from a cardboard box, containing another set of twins, perhaps the little Rothesays (86); and of a numerous variety of satin quilts edged with lace, and silk and satin cushions, no doubt used for the drawing-room sofas.
But the best of descriptions could not convey any idea of the rich coloured silks and satins of the robeS or of the cunning needle art which has been expended upon their embellishment, or of the delicate fancy which has been employed with the happiest results. I would that every doll-lover, big and little, could get a glimpse of the charming play-things which made happy the childhood of her who is endeared to her subjects as a good wife, a good mother, and a wise and exemplary ruler.Queen Victorias Dolls | Frances H. Low | The Strand Magazine, 1892