Tag Archives: Basil Stoddart

No Fare for the Doll: 1890

Kestner lord fauntleroy doll

JD Kestner porcelain doll. Former Ruby Lane listing.


Innocent Childhood Utterly Disconcerts a Washington Car Conductor.

A rather small girl of perhaps eight summers got on board an F street car the day before yesterday, says the Washington Critic, with a doll thrown over her shoulder as big as a four-year-old child, under the weight of which she positively staggered.

It had on a real little boy’s hat and it was not until the passengers had had time to observe the fixity of its round-eyed stare and the unnatural hue of its porcelain complexion that they realized it was not an actual infant.

It even had on a thick coat for protection against the weather, made in the latest fashion, and its hair hung in golden ringlets over its shoulders.

The little girl seated herself near the forward end of the vehicle and placed the doll beside her in the attitude of looking out of the window, as children do, kneeling upon the seat. Presently the conductor came along for fares and she handed him a single ticket.

“You must pay for your little brother, too, if he is to occupy a seat. That is the rule of this line.”

“But this is not my brother,” replied the small girl, sitting with one hand holding onto the doll, which was still apparently engaged in gazing out of the window.

“Well, he maybe your cousin, for all I know; but yer gotter pay fer him unless you take him on your lap.”

“All right,” said the small girl, philosophically. “I’ll take him.”

And with that she lifted the doll into her lap, so that it faced the conductor, who, after gazing at it for eight seconds by the watch, rushed out upon the platform amid the tittering of the other passengers, and in his agitation, recorded four extra uncalled-for fares.

The little girl got off at Ninth street, the doll over her shoulder, and staggered towards Pennsylvania avenue.

The Evening World [New York NY] 4 June 1890: p. 4

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Porcelain dolls, particularly the “character dolls” by German firms, were extraordinarily life-like, with their exquisitely-painted complexions, glass eyes, and real eye-lashes. Even a doll-collecting enthusiast like Queen Mary had some difficulty distinguishing life from art.

Boy Like Doll Surprises Queen.

London, March 6. A boy she mistook for a doll gave Queen Mary a surprise at the British Industrial Fair. Six-year-old Basil Stoddart was dressed in white shirt and Highland kilt and told to stand at attention when Queen Mary came along. He stood for 10 minutes, so immobile he fooled her Majesty. Then she said: “Oh, I am sorry. I thought you were a little doll.” Said the “doll” politely but firmly, “No, I am Basil.”

The Ottawa [Ontario Canada] Journal 7 April 1939: p. 13

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.