Friday, December 5, 2008

Frozen Charlotte

Last week Dawn posted about an artist that she had found & fallen in love with... Well girls that is enough for me! I scurried over & YES, Diana & her work are more than Divine! Her style spoke to my soul. I don't believe I have shared the fact that I took soldering classes this summer from Heather Ales really love it (YES, I NEED a lot more practice)so my first goal of the New Year is to take a class in March from Diana. I hope to arrange to fly from Texas out to California & take the class. Does that tell you how much I want this!!!!! Anyway, Diana has a piece she shows on her lovely Blog that is called Frozen Charlotte in a Cage. In visiting with her I asked "why do they call the doll Frozen Charlotte" & her reply was "I don't know". Also, in visiting Beth Quinn's lovely site I saw another Charlotte. I asked both artist's if I could share their work & do a post explaining Frozen Charlotte. Both agreed so I did some research & want to share this with you:

Frozen Charlottes are a type of unjointed china doll popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The name came from Fair Charlotte, a well-known American folk ballad attributed to William Lorenzo Carter. It is believed to have been composed some time between 1833 and 1860. The ballad tells the tale of a beautiful young woman who set out in a sleigh with her lover, Charles, on a bitterly cold night to attend a ball fifteen miles away. Her mother warned her to wrap herself in a blanket to keep warm, but:
"No, no, no," fair Charlotte said And she laughed like a gypsy queen "To ride in blankets muffled up, I never can be seen."
The couple rode off into the cold and, after traveling a mere five miles, Charles remarked:
"Such a night as this I never knew, The reins I scarce can hold." Fair Charlotte said in a feeble voice "I am exceeding cold." Away they ride through frozen air In the glittering starry night Until at length the village inn and the ballroom were in sight. They reached the door, Young Charles stepped out And held his hand to her "Why sit you there like a monument that hath no power to stir?" He called her once, he called her twice She uttered not a word He held his hand to her again And still she never stirred Then swiftly through the lighted room Her lifeless form he bore Fair Charlotte was a stiffened corpse And word spoke nevermore.

Of course there was a lesson to be learned from this tragic tale, and many young girls who later played with Frozen Charlottes probably were warned:
Now, ladies, when you hear of this Think of that dreadful sight, And never venture so thinly clad, On such a winter's night.
Most Frozen Charlottes ranged in height from one to four inches. The one-inch-sized dolls, displayed here, were commonly known as "penny dolls" because they generally sold for one cent. The popularity of Frozen Charlottes can be attributed, in part, to the fact that their relatively low price allowed children to accumulate a collection of dolls with which to play.

I hope you enjoyed this little snippet. Isn't Bloglandia full of different wonderful mind stretching things. Have a beautiful Friday my friends. xoxoxoxo


Diana said...

Thank you, Charlene, for sharing this bit of history with us. I will look at my "frozen" "Charlottes differently now. I almost want to design them little woolen sweaters, hats and mittens!!! Poor Charlotte...that story tells us a lot about vanity doesn't it. Stay warm!

Selia's Art said...

Dear Charlene,

Thank you for sharing this fascinating story! I love Frozen Charlottes! Love the ballad. Have a wonderful weekend!


Beth said...

hi charlene ! wow that is so very interesting!! thanks so much for sharing !!
have a wonderful weekend !

The Joy of Nesting said...

Thanks so much for your little tutorial Charlene!,

It always seems to make a piece so much more special when I know it's "story" Oh and you are so right Diana's work does speak to your soul!!

Pattie :c)
Mazatlan Mexico

The Feathered Nest said...

Charlene! How wonderful to finally know why these little precious babes are called frozen Charlottes! How amazing that you are going to take a class from Diana!!!! I'm drooling over here...BTW if you'd like, email me a beautiful Christmas photo and I'll add your name to it and pop in on your blog (if you don't have one, I'll come up with one!)'ll just have to remind me of all your info in the email OK? xxoo, Dawn

LuLu Kellogg said...

Aren't they just lovely? I ordered a few of these little Frozen Charlotte's last week and they just came in the mail today and I LOVE them! The story is so sad though :( Poor thing


Wren Cottage said...

Hi Charlene ~ thank you so much for sharing your new find!! Absolutely adored the little story...poor Charlotte!!
Thanks again for the award!!
Your blog is quite a little treasure, like you!!
Have a Lovely Weekend ~*~*~*~~*
xo Madai

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Hi Charlene! As promised, here we are! Aren't Cahrlottes sooo precious?? Love your blog! We'll keep coming back!
Clara & Marcela
Nice & Easy Antiques

Celestial Charms said...

Hi Charlene,
Great ballad and wonderful insight into those pretty little Charlottes. I found it all very interesting as my beloved Grandmother and Mother were both named Charlotte. By the way, I have never visited Fredericksburg before, but I'm dying to get there. Maybe next Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas!

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