Dolls on the titanic

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Margaret Walsh

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Does anyone know which passenger on the Titanic owned the remains of the doll that Ballard came across during his 1986 discovery and were there other dolls and toys recovered from the debris field?
 
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Elaine Barnes

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I read somewhere, it might have even been here on this site, that the doll that was found was a "lady" doll with porcelin head, arms and legs. This type of doll was fairly expensive, so it probably belonged to a first or second class child. It may have even belonged to Lorraine Allison, the only first class child to die in the sinking.( If I did read this here, thanks to the person who originally wrote it, I don't want to claim ownership of it.)
Elaine
 

Marie

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Aug 9, 2011
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In Titanic movie,a porcelin doll appartenate to
Cora Cartmell a purly fictive 3 class passenger girl.
 
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Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
The doll discovered by Ballard, did not have to be owned by someone who perished. Marjory Collyer is difinitely known to have lost a doll. The doll may have also poured out of the ship when it broke in to. There are endless possibilities. Perhaps a relative was bringing it accross the Atlantic for a young female. Once again the doll could have fallen out of a cabin during the break up. In this case, the doll did not belong to any child.

We may never know who the doll belonged to.

Daniel.
 
May 8, 2001
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Could this doll have been owned and kept by the White Star line for passengers? I heard an account that Eva Hart gave of a room where the children played, and can visualize the room they show in ANTR with the rocking horse.
Colleen
Does anyone know if RMSTI picked it up?
 
May 12, 2005
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In Edith Rosenbaum's inventory of lost possessions, 3 dolls are listed - a "Tyrolian" doll, a "mother goose" doll (both valued at $1.50) and a sewing box in the shape of a baby doll dressed in scotch plaid ($6.00).
 
May 12, 2005
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Hello Maureen,

No, I don't know anything about the doll that was photograghed during that expedition. Whenever I see that porcelain face I think of the little doll in the Loraine Allison picture. Might it have been hers?

Randy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hey there Randy. Thanks. I checked the site for "doll" and found this:
"According to Helmina, Elin had been in USA earlier, she was accustomed to travel and that was the reason Helmina's parents let her go together with Elin. This information has not been confirmed. There is an other name Elin's sister mentioned: Mrs Tille Wright. Elin had in her baggage a doll meant for her niece Mabel. The doll seem to have been kept separate from the rest of the luggage and Helmina hinted later in an interview that Elin had brought the packet with the doll with her up on deck. Elin died but a doll head has been photographed in the debris field near the stern of the wreck where most of the steerage spent their final moments."

It is a bit of information on Elin Ester Maria Baf and I apologize to the awesome person who provided it as I forgot to write down the individual's name who did this research, but it is on this site.

Maureen.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Based on only that beautiful face peering up at us and not who owned it, can anyone offer any ideas as to the make or manufacturer of that doll?

Maureen.
 
Jan 13, 2001
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The cover photo of Eva Hart's book Shadow of the Titanic, A Survivor's Story is the wreck site photo of the doll head. I believe the doll was hers. Here is a quote from the book, " Somehow she also managed to find the time and money to buy me a doll to replace the one that had gone down with my teddy bear when the 'Titanic' sank.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Kyrila Scully, thanks, but someone else wrote and researched that I will have to search it and find it so I can give credit where credit is due. I was as lost as others.

Kimberly Ann Yoxtheimer, you are a doll. Thanks so very very much!

I do not have that book, does it mention at all what type of doll it was and do you know of a place where the doll would be featured in a photo?

Also, the bear she had was a Teddy Bear. Is there any mention of how she acquired either of these two toys?

Thanks!

Maureen.
 
Jan 13, 2001
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Maureen, here is more from Miss Hart's book.
" My bunk was below the one used by my father, and much of the time it was occupied by my doll and teddy bear which I had taken to keep me company."

"When I wasn't playing with the dog or sight-seeing around the ship, my special playmate was another girl of about my own age. Her name was Nina Harper and she was particularly fond of my large teddy bear which my father had bought from the middle of a Christmas display at Gamages' large store in Holborn only a few months previously. We must have made quite a spectacle for the other passengers as we dragged this big teddy bear with us all over the ship. Our thoughts as children on board the 'Titanic' were a long way away from disaster and tragedy as we happily made teddy the centre of our games together."

"Following her, now normal timetable, mother got up from bed again on Sunday in order to join my father for dinner. By this time I was already asleep in my bunk cuddling my favorite doll."

"They took us immediately to the boat deck and as he went out on deck I said I wanted to go back and fetch my large teddy bear, but I got the sharp reply, 'no one will ever go back' from my father.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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The best quality dolls of the era were Jumeau (French) and Bru (German) porcelain head and hands. The body was usually made of kid, sometimes stuffed with excelsior or cotton wadding. The porcelain items seem to have endured 90 years underwater fairly well- the eyes are glass and pressed in from the inside of the head. My mother-in-law is a collector of these dolls which now sell for 300-11,000 dollars. This is a French Jumeau- highly possible this was a doll from a first class child although a lucky child from second class may have been the owner. Lots of websites on antique dolls- I have one Jumeau- it gives me the creeps-the eyes follow one everywhere!
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Hello-

One thing that I pondered about the doll's head is that, even though it (or rather it's remains) has gotten the pedigree of an expensive doll, could it not have been belonging to a steerage passenger after all? These dolls were, in variation, manufactured since the 1860's. And since no hands or feet were found, or shoulder plate for that matter, could it not have been a, sure- expensive doll in the begining, "rummage-sale" item later? I could see this doll, knocked around, beat up and broken by some spoiled little thing, then given to the rag pickers, where it ended up in the possession of a poor mother who stiched up new limbs and a frock, and ended up in her child's Christmas stocking!

I don't know. I do admit being intrigued by that little face, maybe it's just easier to focus on the doll than the potential tragedy of it's owner.

I don't have a Teddy anymore, but I do have a sad looking monkey I keep as a mascot here. I don't think we ever really outgrow the need for toys; which is possibly why the Titanic's doll stikes such a poignant theme with so many.

Take care-
Kris
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Kris, I have even thought the head may have been cargo- dolls parts perhaps, bound for assembly in America. Odd that only the head is there. Other leather, like suitcases and valises have remained intact on the bottom. Have not seen the back of the head to see if this is a broken fragment. It was unnerving to see a human-like face I agree-this object and the pair of shoes were the most poignant reminders for me.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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24624.gif

Recently saw the TITANICA Imax film again with Eva Hart talking about her teddy which was as big as she was. She mentioned after Titanic she never wanted another one. The photo above is a 1908 Steiff vintage which looks like all the Titanic bears we know. I have always wondered if the Germans' bear did beat the Teddy Roosevelt cartoon (above) of 1902 based on Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a baby bear on a Mississippi hunt. The cartoon was in the Washington Post( by a Clifford "Berryman")! and the bear was copied by a Mrs. Michton of Brooklyn, NY who had a toy store which would eventually become IDEAL (maker of the TITANIC game) in 1938. Steiff Co. of Germany showed a bear at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1903 and even the Brits claim fame to toy bears by saying they had thought of it first when Edward VII( Teddy) was on the throne. Gund is still in the bear business - since 1906. Well, beary interesting stuff...
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Shelley-
With all that "bear" talk, I feel a need for a close shave! Thank you for the info., but I fear, like Eva, after the demise of my bear (I named him "Chuck"...couldn't tell you why) never wanted another...Monkeys will do just fine!

Back to dolls, I was thinking about the doll parts in cargo idea you have. Looking in the facsimile cataloge Sears (1902) in the toy section... 4 pages sandwiched between the wallpaper and veiling depts., there were sold headless kid bodies (10 inches long, 2 3/4 inches across shoulders: 20 cents to 19 1/2 in. long, 4 1/2 in. across shoulders: 80 cents). Larger, yet cheaper (10 cents to 38 cents) bodies made of " Pink Silesia", have no idea what that is. Doll heads: "Minerva Industructable Metal Doll Heads"; short or long hair ranging in size, prices from 25 cents to a dollar-fifty. Bisque heads (solid neck) 10 cents to $1.65... the most expensive was the style with moving eyes- 7 1/2 in. height, 6 1/2 in. across shoulders.

So, yes...there was a market for doll parts. I'm sure different qualities for different stores, etc., seems there were more options out there back then! And I dare say so much more lovely than that "Barbie" creature!

(For some reason I'm thinking of a "Dolly Dingle"??? was that a 1910 vintage creation, or am I thinking of Campbell's Soup advertising?)

Kris
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Kris, "Minerva Industructable Metal Doll Heads"! I think my parents should have gotten me these to play with. Loved your posts.

Shelley, as always. Thanks sooooo much. This is exactly what I needed.

All of you I thank you!

Maureen.