Peg Doll Repairs

Sweet Face

Young Human spotted an old doll in my cupboard and cried out what a sweet face. I thought that anyone who loved the doll enough to think her face was sweet should have her…

This is a very old doll (turn of the last century), one of several that my grandmother bought in Pollock’s Toy Museum in the 1950’s. My Grandmother told me that thousands of these peg dolls had been discovered in a barn somewhere, and ended up in a bin for sale at the Museum.  I have three of the dolls, so was very happy to let Young Human take this girl home with her.



Tenon trim

However Young Human was disconcerted by the fact that the leg joints were locked in place.  We examined the doll and discovered that to unlock them, the mortise and tenon joints would have to be modified.  I gave Young Human her very first wood-carving opportunity. First we pulled out the pegs, and then she rounded the front corner of the hip joint so the leg could move forward and the doll could sit down.




Hooray, now I can finally sit down after 120 years of standing around with stiff hip joints.




Young  human figured out that the back of the knee tenon needed to be rounded too so the bottom of the leg could move backward. I was very impressed with Young Human’s engineering acumen, and her careful carving, and tinkering to get the joints altered to her satisfaction. Hooray, now I can kick up my heels after 120 years of polite rectitude.




Young Human made some panties for the doll while I worked on a broken shoulder joint.



Decent at last

We shortened a skirt left behind by Lady Frances, and Mormor donated a sweater…




….Hooray now I have a little girl to smother me with true love.

Some people may think these old dolls are “not suitable for children” but I think the experience of fixing and dressing the doll was priceless for my young human – she is so proud of herself!




25 thoughts on “Peg Doll Repairs

  1. Young Human coming in this Hitty world, this is so beautiful. So impressive and emotional too for me. Loved so much every step of this process… Thank you for sharing with us, always so nice to know there are angels in this world… No matter where they are… Angel is Angel… Love and Hugs, nia

    • She will treasure this doll because she healed it! I love that my granddaughter wanted to do this, and that I could help her! Two generations before me: my grandmother purchased the doll! And two generations after me: my granddaughter loves and fixes the doll – such a beautiful circle!

      • Exactly, this is really so beautiful, Blessing and Happiness to you All, Love, nia

  2. Yes, truly this is a priceless gift to Young Human with her grandmother. You are surely building a great foundation regarding dolls, clothing, repair, etc., with her. I can’t imagine how rich she feels to have you and all you share with her.

    • The fixed-up doll is a lovely thing – but my granddaughter’s feeling of accomplishment is the very most wonderful thing to behold! We are very grateful for Lady Frances’s hand-me-downs, it made clothing the doll so quick and effective!

  3. What a gift to everyone involved…. it’s marvelous to see skills shared, creativity encouraged and the delight of a ‘joint’ (pun intended) project successfully completed. Thanks so much for sharing the journey with us.

  4. I’d say a doll that was robust enough to survive all those decades was the perfect companion for a careful young lady. I would love to see a slightly less cynical expression on her face, but she’s ‘historic’, so I suppose it depends on how authentic Young Human wants to keep her.

    • I admit I wasn’t in love with the doll’s “sweet face” but who am I to argue with the true love offered by a discerning young human? There are some crabby-looking characters in some of the graphic novels she likes to read, so maybe she sees beyond the surface. I must say I think I could learn from her!

  5. How incredibly wonderful! Your sweet granddaughter will treasure her doll forever, and even more important, she will treasure the time she spent with you, rescuing and reviving her precious antique doll! How lovely for all three of you!

  6. it’s the young one who has a sweet face – that last photo is charming. I am absolutely delighted to hear she is taking an interested in carving – a master Hitty carver for the future.

    • After a few tries, my granddaughter seemed quite good with the knife. I think it will be a while before she wants (or I want her) to tackle an entire doll, but I have no doubt that she soon could manage if she wanted to! I was most impressed with her engineering skill!

  7. this made me smile…how darling. I believe the doll is dressed perfectly and that hug from the small human…priceless. Also impressive that she tackled the repairs!!

    • We really enjoyed the project – working together to repair and dress the doll was a great day’s work! And it makes me happy that my granddaughter has a link to my grandmother too, and precious memories for me in between them!

  8. I positively adore this post. The photo of Young Human hugging the doll is so precious. What a treat for both of you to spend time together doing something so fun, playful, and productive.

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