Photo by Gavin Ashworth
Who can resist a baby cradle? This dear cradle is painted green with a touch of gold paint along the edges. It was made in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia by a father for his daughter…probably as a Christmas or birthday present. It is a wonderful example of folk art, and is among my prized possessions.
The wood is pine, and the paint is a bit crackled from age. I am guessing it was made around 1830-40. Displayed alone it makes a nice decorative bit of sculpture, especially if one is into country things.
I do not have a baby doll that will fit into this cradle. However, I must make a present of the cradle to one of my larger dolls and fashion a rag doll for it.
Perhaps Bessie, born in 1872, an American Greiner doll, would like this homemade doll cradle for a doll of her own? Bessie is named for my grandmother, who was also born in 1872, and called herself “the homeliest girl in the mountains,” meaning the Poconos, of course. My doll Bessie is not a beauty, but loved for her simplicity, as was my Grandmother Bessie!!!! So I will get busy, and make a small rag doll for the cradle with Bessie tending it. I can hear her humming now….”Go to sleep, my baby…”