In June of this year, I traveled down to Atlanta,GA to attend a workshop by Sue Mitchell on how to recreate the beautiful Stanhope Stobe’. Before I go into the details of the workshop and show you what I created, let me give you a little bit of the history of this technique.
In 1852 the first micro-photo was created and soon after it became what is known as a Stanhope. These teeny tiny photos grace souvenirs from all over the world in the form of miniature binoculars, crosses, walking sticks, jewelry etc. Religious themes seem to have been popular. In 1867 Antoine Edmond Rochard patented the use of these Stanhopes in a doll’s chest plate. Most of these dolls were produced between the years of 1867 and 1875. It is likely that these dolls were never meant to be put onto bodies due to the awkward nature of trying to view the image. It is my opinion that these were basically very expensive dresser decoration for ladies of high society.
Rochard himself did not produce the dolls, he just had the idea and patented it. He could have had firms such as Barrois or Jameau produce his creation. The only markings these dolls have on them is: Ed Rochard Depose Brevete S.D.g.d..
Most of us will never see an original of these dolls due tot he scarcity and the fact most reside in museum’s away from prying eyes. Some examples have as few as two jewels and some have as many 41!
Now for the seminar, we used reproduction Stanhope’s made by Stanhope Microworks based out of Mechanicsburg, PA.
The first step was to design out how you wanted your chest plate to look. Did you want to use more gold or more jewels? Rhinestones or cabochons? There were quite a few choices. We received one Stanhope to use for this seminar. I choose to make a necklace out of rhinestones rimmed in gold. The gold we used was real gold.
In between firings of each layer of the gold on the chest plate we worked on the head of the Stobe’.
We also made the wig for this doll. This was only my second wig but I feel like I improved tenfold since my first one a year and a half ago! Everyone did a similar style, simple yet elegant. We didn’t want the hairstyle to take away from the Stanhope itself.
Here is everyone’s finished doll’s! I was the only one who did not mount there chest and head on a body. I wanted to evoke the original use of these works of art.
and Mine all mounted on her beautiful silk covered box:
If you want to see more images of this seminar check out the following link: