Up until very late period, after the fall of the Roman empire, we have little-to-no evidence of anything resembling a “fashion doll”. This is a modern appellation, of course, although dolls may have been made with miniature clothing to show new fashions and eventually passed down to children to play with. Again, extant dolls are hard to come by, but painted ones survive. Some of these dolls appear rigid (possibly carved in one piece), some dressed and at least one (Catharine Renata’s) looks like a possible rag-doll. It’s hard to tell from the portraits what these were made of, so we’re guessing.
The thing is that popular doll forms were dressed, possibly to teach girls to sew, possibly as gifts for special days.
These are a couple of modern dolls, dressed in (fantasy) medieval clothing.
As I learn more I will add to this.
Page created and published 5/4/17 (C)M. Bartlett