wax dolls

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Gabriel Aparta

Senior Member
Español - Venezuela
Hi, please, from David Copperfield by Dickens:

<-----Excess quote and additional question removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

"A mighty pleasure for the poor baby to fix her simple faith upon any dog of a fellow, certain to ill-use her in some way or other. <...> She had had one husband. She had seen David Copperfield out of the world, who was always running after wax dolls from his cradle. She had got a baby—oh, there were a pair of babies when she gave birth to this child sitting here, that Friday night!—and what more did she want?"

David's aunt and a gentleman are talking about David's mom. David's dad died a long time ago. I'd like to know please if <...> wax dolls means something like pretty girls.

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  • Trochfa

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "She had seen David Copperfield out of this world" means that she had outlived him - and so yes it refers to David Copperfield [Senior's] death.

    I agree with you Gabriel and also with Paul about "wax dolls". My Mother has one which she inherited from her mother and as a child I always used to think how strange it was that a doll should be made from something like wax. Here is some information about them.

    Germany, Switzerland, and France were the principal manufacturers of toys in the 19th century, but the manufacture of the antique wax doll was a specialty of England. The French dolls had a reputation for beauty and tasteful dress while the English doll, made in the form of a child, was designated as a plaything.

    Because wax could mimic skin much better than either wood or papier mâché, wax dolls had beautifully realistic heads.

    Antique Doll | English Poured Wax Montanari Doll

    This wax doll was probably made in England, which was noted for its wax dolls in the last half of the nineteenth century. This doll dates from the 1870s, and her elaborate costume is typical of the period. ... The doll's childlike face and hairstyle might seem better suited to a child's body, but the true child doll was not yet common. Not until the 1880s was there a change from predominantly adult dolls to dolls representing children and babies.
    Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions, The Victorian Era, and Me: Wax Dolls, Montanari and Pierotti Dolls - Gotta Love The Beauty of Wax
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