The Secret in the doll’s dress
During the conservation assessment of this Victorian doll’s dress, it was noted that damage had revealed two small sections of paper containing text (one handwritten, one printed), indicating the existence of paper templates beneath the silk. Intrigued by this evidence, which suggested the use of a traditional quilting method called paper piecing, NGV Conservator Kate Douglas investigated further to see if it was possible to ‘read’ these fragments. Using a combination of transmitted light and infra-red photographic processes, a number of eerie words and a date became visible. This small clues help us to approximate where and when this dress was made.
Doll’s dress c. 1865
silk, linen, paper, metal
Gift of Lady Nicholson and her daughter, 1951