Thankful, An Izannah Walker Doll

This beautiful and interesting Izannah Walker doll has made a home with Edyth O'Neill. Edyth has graciously shared images for Izannah Walker Chronicles readers. She has named the doll Thankful. Thankful is 18 inches tall, and has lost her body covering, so you can see the details of construction for the body and attachment of limbs. We love to see Izannah dolls in any condition for this reason! Thankful has a beautiful, settled face, and gorgeous eyes, and such a sweetly painted mouth. Thankful has longer legs than many Izannah Walker dolls do, so this makes her unique. Was she was a special order for a tall girl?  Visit Edyth's blog to see more wonders.

Withington's to Auction Izannah Walker Doll with Provenance

Withington's will be br offering the following Izannah Walker doll at their November auction. 

The doll and accessories are described in this way: 
17” Izannah Walker Central Falls, RI, stockinet pressed head, painted facial features, black/brown spill curls, applied ears, painted black lace boots with red trim, muslin body (possibly recovered), (nose rubs, wear spot to back of head, left hand repair, wear to facial features, neck touchups), early antique blue polka dot dress,  with early turned leg doll chair with worn rush seat, dome top strap trunk with antique clothing & accessories, provenance purchased from Jeannette Fink 1984, originally a gift to Mary Cornelia Talbot 1865, born Nov. 7 1862 in Providence RI. (as noted in small calendar & notes) also small wood bucket made for Mary Talbot at 1876 Philadelphia Centennial"

What Would You Give
Izannah Walker for Her Birthday?

In 2008 I did a Happy Birthday post for Izannah about what I would give her for her birthday.  It's interesting to think about. What technology or item do you think Izannah would have used that we have today?  What would you give her on her birthday?

Had Izannah had the same opportunities as a man would she have made dolls? Or would her creativity and invention oriented mind have gone in a different direction?

Happy Birthday, Izannah!  In the midst of constraints you created timeless beauty.

How Was Izannah Walker Influenced by Other Types of Dolls?

Recently I was looking in my workroom and found a little box of china heads I had purchased on EBay some years back.  I purchased the group lot because one head in particular reminded me of a particular Izannah doll I had studied closely when it was at Lucy's Doll House. When I pulled the little China head out to study it again I was struck by the similarity again.  I wondered if Izannah used China dolls as her models for some of her dolls?  We know that she set out to make a softer doll that wouldn't hurt a child if she fell on it, as could have happened with china dolls. This is mentioned in her patent.

So I sent the question off to my friend Edyth O'Neill.  She has collected dolls for many decades and I knew she would have an interesting perespective.

Edyth's reply:

"If working from a generic child, we all have a common human starting place. Germany being the doll maker for the world in the mid 19th century, German dolls surely would have been an influence on Izannah’s dolls. As we know Izannah was an inventor and a designer (of stoves!) she certainly may have had basic sculpting skills if needed. How similar is the Ruben Bates mold? (not very to me). There are many different Izzie heads, they may have been molded after or directly from many sources. The artistry lies in her design of the doll, its body its paint job, its concept if you will. Which face or faces she took off from is not a big question to me. As you have noted, some of the English woodens with heavy lidded eyes remind you of Izannah’s work, many dolls are bound to have a lot in common, just being a child’s head. Other than totally off the wall stuff like swirling a holey bucket of paint over a canvas, there is little in art not influenced by other art before it. When designing a new car we don’t re invent the wheel as it is said. We do not see in Izannah’s dolls the same thing as the Darrow being molded after a certain identifiable parian head, and the linen heads molded over identifiable German chinas and other such exact copies, or Emma Clear reproducing dolls. I do not think there is clear proof yet that Izannah used other dolls directly, but if so, no matter to me. What she made of them was a new thing."

In that, Edyth and I agree.  Even if Izannah copied a china doll exactly, she transcended the Original design with her methods.  Food for thought.


Please email me if you have information, pictures, sources, etc. about original Izannah Walker dolls. The goal of this site is to be a free clearinghouse of information for Izannah doll lovers. Copyright of pictures published on this site are retained by the collector, museum, or artist etc, who took the picture.

Dixie Redmond
Northdixie Designs

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This site began on January 1, 2008 as a way to share pictures of original Izannah Walker dolls with those who love them. It's come a long way! Thank you to all of you who have come here to read and research.