So the Story Goes . . .

This is the story of the Frozen Charlotte Doll

It is said that on January 1st 1840, a girl froze to death on her way to a ball. This is how the story of Fair Charlotte goes . . .

Young Charlotte lived on the mountain side
In a quiet, lonely spot
No dwelling there for three miles round
Except her father’s cot

Her father loved to see her dress
Gay as a city belle
For she was all the child he had
He loved his daughter well

T’was New Year’s Eve, the sun was set
And she looked with a wishful eye
So long at the frozen windows out
As the merry sleighs went by

At the village fifteen miles away
There’s a merry ball tonight
The piercing air was cold and keen
Yet her heart was warm and light

How gaily beams her sparkling eyes
As a well-known sound she hears
When darting up to her father’s house
Young Charles’ sleigh appears!

“My daughter dear” her mother said
“This blanket around you fold
It is a dreadful night abroad
You might take fatal cold”

This China Frozen Charlotte doll was made in Germany in 1860

“O, no dear mother”, Charlotte said
And she laughed like a gayly queen
“To ride in a blanket muffled up
I never can be seen”

“My silken shawl is quite enough
You know it’s lined throughout
Besides I have a silken scarf
To tie my neck about”

Her bonnet and her gloves were on
And she stepped into the sleigh
And off they ride o’er the mountain side
And o’er the hills away

For five long dark and lonesome miles
In silence o’er they passed
Till Charlotte in a few frozen words
This silence broke at last

“It’s such a night I never seen
The reins I scarce can hold”
Charlotte replied in a feeble voice
“I am extremely cold”
4" German china Frozen Charlotte, with painted molded hair and features. Painted gold shoes with
heels. Circa 1890

He cracked his whip, he urged his steed
Much faster than before
Till five more dark and lonesome miles
In silence they passed o’er

4 1/4"China Frozen Charlie, with painted blue eyes, clenched fists and black molded hair. Made in Germany. Circa 1860

He says, “How fast the glittering ice
Is gathering on my brow”
Charlotte replied in a feeble voice
“I’m growing warmer now”

And on they ride o’er the mountain side
As the stars shine on them bright
At length they reach the village
And the ballroom is in sight

They stopped then, and he stepped out
And offered his hand to her
“Why sit you there light a monument
That hath no power to stir?”

He called her once, he called her twice
But yet she never stirred
He called and called for her again
Yet she answered not a word

He raised the veil from o’er her face
As the cold stars on her shone
He took her hand into his own
Oh God! ‘t was cold as stone

Then quickly to the lighted hall
Her lifeless form he bore
For Charlotte was a frozen girl
And never spoke no more

Now ladies, think of this fair girl
And always dress up right
And never venture thinly clad
On a cold and dreary night

Contributed by Mrs. Mary J. Shriver, of East St. Louis, Illinois. November 30, 1935

I read that Charles died of a broken Y

Most Frozen Charlottes range in height from one to four inches. The one-inch sized dolls 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 low price allowed children to accumulate a collection of dolls to play with.

In the early Victorian days, the tiniest Charlottes were sometimes baked into children’s birthday cakes or Christmas puddings to be found by the guests as party favors as they bit into their piece of cake. NO WARNING LABELS BACK IN THE DAY!


i am very mary said...

What a fun post! Thanks so much, you smarty pants:)

Anna M. Lewis said...

Whoa! Very interesting post!

Way before I became a toy inventor, I fell in love with doll history. I have some of my mom's dolls that survived WW2.

BTW my blog on LJ is Got Art (but more of a children's book writer blog) and google alerts brought me here!

NJTomboy said...

Wow - eerie... but a beautiful read. Thanks!

I've have to say, I never heard the story before... but it is a great reminder. In my more youthful days... I too was guilty of running out in too little....

Now, I'd like to think that I am much smarter! ;)