Frozen Charlotte Doll

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Detail of 19th century porcelain Frozen Charlotte Doll.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria

This Frozen Charlotte doll was uncovered in 2002 during an archaeological dig of Casselden Place, part of an inner-city Melbourne block colloquially referred to as ‘Little Lon’.

Frozen Charlottes were typically unjointed china dolls that ranged in height from 25 mm to 100 mm (the museum’s example is 42mm). Originating in the USA, they were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The 25 mm (or 1”) dolls were commonly known as ‘penny dolls’ as they sold for 1¢ in America.

From the number of Frozen Charlotte dolls (or parts thereof) uncovered in archaeological digs in Little Lon, we can surmise these dolls were popular in Melbourne too. The discovery of two hand carved wooden Frozen Charlottes also indicates that the type was adapted by local people.