Frozen Charlotte (doll)

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For other uses, see Frozen Charlotte.
Frozen Charlotte
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Frozen Charlotte.jpg
Other names Frozen Charlie
Type Doll
Availability c. 1850–c. 1920
Materials porcelain

Frozen Charlotte is a name used to describe a specific form of china doll made from c. 1850 to c. 1920. The name comes from the American folk ballad Fair Charlotte, which tells of a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride because she did not want to cover up her pretty dress; she froze to death during the journey.[1]

Frozen Charlie


The Frozen Charlotte doll is made in the form of a standing, naked figure moulded all in one piece. These dolls may also be seen described as pillar dolls, solid chinas or bathing babies.[2] The dolls ranged in size from under an inch to 18 inches plus. The smallest dolls were sometimes used as charms in Christmas puddings.[2] Smaller sizes were very popular for putting in doll's houses. Occasionally versions are seen with a glazed china front and an unglazed stoneware back. This enabled the doll to float on its back when placed in a bath.[3]

Frozen Charlotte dolls were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Smaller versions of the dolls were also known as penny dolls, because they were often sold for a cent.[4] Most were made in Germany.[5]

They are also made in bisque, and can come in white, pink-tinted, or, more rarely, painted black.[2] Some rare examples have moulded chemises. Male dolls (identified by their boyish hairstyles) are called Frozen Charlies.


  1. ^ Dolls Antonia Fraser, 1963, p. 62
  2. ^ a b c Coleman. Dorothy S., Elizabeth A. and Evelyn JK.; The Collector's Encyclopaedia of Dolls Volume One, (USA, 1978)
  3. ^ Eaton, Faith; Dolls In Colour (London, 1975)
  4. ^ Melbourne Museum; Frozen Charlotte Doll (Victoria, 2002)
  5. ^