The doll pictured was made by the wax doll-making company founded by Domenico Pierotti in the 1790s. Pierotti learnt the skills for plaster mould-making and wax casting from his English wife’s family. Their son Anericho Cephas, known as Henry, later developed the company by perfecting the poured wax method used for making dolls’ heads. The Pierotti family business continued into the 20th century and eventually ended in 1935 with the retirement of Anericho Cephas’ grandson, Charles Ernest.

The doll pictured is one of the most life-like of all the Pierotti dolls. Her shoulders, head and outer limbs are made with poured wax and her body is made from cloth stuffed with cow hair. She has dark blue glass eyes and her human hair is thought to have been taken from the maker’s own children. The doll is wearing clothes that belonged to a real child in the 1870s.

The doll was donated to the Museum by the feminist and trade unionist, Muriel Pierotti.