Handmade doll clothing and two dolls.
“I have ended up in the possession of some antique dolls, with handmade outfits from the 1900s.
The dolls and handmade doll clothing, have been passed down to me from my aunt Eveleen, who received them from a friend of her aunt Ita, called Miss A. Prentis, (not sure about the spelling, but this is what I interpreted from the ticket stubs).
Miss Prentiss made the costumes and entered them into competitions at the St. James’ Gate Fanciers’ & Industrial Association, for the workers of the Guinness factory and their families.
There are a few tickets and prize labels included with the dolls. She seems to have won a few prizes: a first, second, third prize, a very highly commended and a “Special Prize” for “Dressed Dolls” ranging from 1902 to 1906.
The tickets/labels/awards are all branded with livestock stuff and ads for dog food because there were dog shows and other competitions going on as well. (There are also some old newspapers in the bottom of the box which I think might be what they were wrapped in when my aunt received them.
I asked my aunt for any more information she had about them and she sent back:
“It was Auntie Ita who knew her (through social work with the Legion of Mary, I think). Miss Prentiss/Prentice was moving into a room in a home beside the Casino in Marino. I vaguely remembered it as Jerusalem House but checking I think it must be Nazareth House. She hadn’t room for all her belongings so she wanted to give the dolls to someone who would appreciate them and Ita suggested me. I think it was either my last year in school or first year in college so C.1973-1977.
She gave them to me, then, knowing that I’d be interested in them because I love historical fashion, but primarily because she reckoned I would be more likely to find somewhere appropriate for them to go because I work in costume and interact with costume-y people and so on.
I’m absolutely delighted for them to go to the Museum of Childhood Ireland to be looked after and appreciated.”
Time range: 1902 to 1906.
Donated to the Museum of Childhood Ireland, Dún Laoghaire, June 2021.