Dorothea’s doll

In 1882, Dorothea Marie Hansen Bruun at Flatset in Hadsel received a doll as a gift from Sara Hals, the daughter of W. D Hals and Jørgine Sandborg Hals. Dorothea was the great-great-granddaughter of Peder Bruun (1737-1799) and came from a family that had run jekts from Børøya for a century.

The doll is store-bought, not homemade, and originally had arms and a head made of porcelain. The doll was another precious toy for Dorothea, and was probably played with a lot. We see generations of repairs, as the doll has been worn and damaged in play.

The doll had an impressive wardrobe of both hand-sewn and machine-sewn clothes. We cannot know for sure where all the clothes come from, but it is natural to assume that a good number of them are probably sewn at home on the farm at Flatset.

Here are elegant evening dresses, skirts, dress bodices and both petticoats and underskirts

In 1919, according to the family, the doll was passed on to Dorothea’s daughter Gunhild. At this point, the head and arms were crushed, and it was decided to buy a new head for the doll. This new head was the very latest fashion in the world of dolls; made of the ultra-modern material celluloid, one of the predecessors of what we today call plastic. The doll also had eyes that closed when the doll was laid down on its back, and long, soft, dark, real hair.

We do not know today what the girls called the doll, but she probably took part in many great adventures with the Bruun family’s children.

Today, the doll is part of the collection of the Bruun family at Melbo Manor.

More about the Bruun family

The Bruun family on Børøya

Meet the family behind one of our most exciting collections.

More objects in the Bruun Collection

The Salute cannons of the Bruun family

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Tiny Doll in bed

Perhaps the oldest toy in our collection. A doll mother and her baby

Hand-sewn christening hat with gold lace

A hand-sewn silk brocade christening hat with gold lace from the Bruun family protected the baby from the feared creatures of the deep

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