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This item sold on November 3, 2008.

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This doll was made about 1890 and was recently excavated from the ground at the site of a former doll factory in Germany.

"A walnut-shell, elegantly polished, served her for a cradle; her bed was formed of blue violet-leaves, with a rose-leaf for a counterpane."

Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen tale of Thumbelina, this tiny doll is now nestled safely in a real walnut shell.

Her bed is lined in one half with a deep purple fabric. The two halves of the shell are linked together so you don't lose her lid. I have sewn a rose-petal, from a scrap of old red velvet, for her cover.

She fits neatly into the shell and measures just over an inch (about 3cm in new money). I have dressed her in vintage floral fabric trimmed with old cotton lace.

These little dolls were originally sold long ago for people to bake in their Christmas puddings as lucky charms. They would be kept and played with by the children of the family. Occasionally they turn up in old estate sales in a little walnut. I don’t know how long people have been making these little toys for but cultures around the world have tales going back hundreds of years which are similar to the Thumbelina story and they have an enduring appeal. I have a handful of these old miniature dolls which I am dressing in old materials and fixing up walnut beds for.

Contact me with any questions - I am happy to talk and give extra details about my work.

Steal her away before the big bad toad gets her...

Thumbelina tiny doll in walnut shell bed


  • Materials: bisque glazed china, cotton vintage fabric, lace, embroidered velvet ribbon, walnut shell
  • Ships from United Kingdom to select countries.
  • Favorited by: 11 people