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Some historians suggest that 19th century fortune-telling dolls evolve from the travelling gypsy with her crystal ball who, for a penny or more, would peer into the future and predict the welfare of her customers. Other historians recall the seers and soothsayers that populated market day, country fairs, and carnivals whose predictions entertained, delighted, and terrified the curious, susceptible, and the damned. Queen Victoria, as a young girl, owned a fortune-telling doll, and ladies magazines and books for girls offered instructions for making such dolls of various materials. Almost all instructions, however, included skirt made of paper with hand-written fortunes. In contemporary times, we use Ouija Boards, Magic Eight Balls, and handmade cootie catchers to help us see into the future.

  • Material: bisque | paper | paint | fabric
  • Origin: Germany
  • Style: fortune teller
  • Object ID: 80.4810
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