A Frozen Charlotte Doll Mourning Necklace
This necklace, from Etsy shop, GhostLove Jewelry, is a solid sterling silver locket-style pendant hanging from a black velvet cord. The locket is in the shape of a coffin, with a cross on the lid, that opens to reveal a tiny Frozen Charlotte doll inside. This doll is an antique, as GhostLove Jewelry explains:
"This doll is part of a rare collection of porcelain bisque dolls excavated from the ruins of an old doll factory that operated between 1890 and 1913 in Thuringia, Germany. That makes them over 100 years old!"
You can see more from GhostLove Jewelry here.
"Frozen Charlotte" commonly refers to a doll, made from either china or bisque with immovable or "frozen" limbs, manufactured from about 1850 to 1920. The dolls ranged in size from an inch to 18 inches or more, and being charms in Christmas puddings, or occupants for doll houses, were amongst their many uses.
The name is believed to have originated from an American folk ballad called
Fair Charlotte or Young Charlotte, by William Lorenzo Carter. The song was based upon a poem called A Corpse Going to a Ball, by Seba Smith, written around 1843. The poem and ballad are cautionary tales, thought to pertain to a true incident, about a girl called Charlotte who ignored her mother's request to cover her fine clothes with a blanket, and then froze to death on a snowy sleigh ride to a ball with her intended husband. The story was meant to discourage such vanity in young women.
This is part of the ballad:
They reached the place and Charles jumped out and held his hands for her,
"Why sit you there like a monument, have you no power to stir?"
He asked her once, he asked her twice; she answered not a word.
He asked her for her hand again, and yet she never stirred.
He took her hands within his own -- oh, God, they were cold as stone.
He tore the mantle from her brow, the cold stars on her shone.
Then quickly to the lighted hall her lifeless form he bore;
Young Charlotte was a frozen corpse and never spoke no more.
He sat himself down by her side, and the bitter tears did flow,
He said, "My dear intended bride, I never more shall know."
He threw his arms around her neck and kissed her marble brow
And his thoughts went back to the place where she said, "I'm getting warmer now."
He put the corpse into the sleigh and quickly hurried home,
And when he reached the cottage door, oh, how her parents mourned!
They mourned for the loss of their daughter dear, and young Charlie mourned for his bride,
He mourned until his heart did break, and they slumber side by side.
You can see the rest of the ballad here.