Augusta Montanari (1818-1864)
MADAME Augusta Montanari was born Charlotte Augusta Dalton, in Grantham, the daughter of the landlord of the Nag’s Head and his wife Elizabeth Plummer.
(The Gurkha Park restaurant is now on the site).
She became the best known wax doll-maker of all time.
Among early makers it seems to have been almost the only name, and any poured wax English doll was called either a Montanari or a Montanari-type.
This was mainly due to publicity from her winning exhibit at the Great Exhibition 1851 and because occasionally dolls have been found with her signature scrawled across its fabric body.
Montanari was the most important maker of Wax dolls in the 19th century, together with Henry Pierotti.
Her workshop was in London, from where her blue-eyed dolls with their rooted hair and chubby limbs were exported to the rest of Europe and North America.
Her husband Napoleon, was born in Corsica and their eldest son, Richard Napoleon, also became a wax modeller.
She died of consumption .