Born in England in the year 1861 and shortly thereafter imported to America, most likely by one of the toy wholesalers in New York City, it could be said that today Miss Rose Percy remains the most important doll in American history. Her remarkable story began when the young ladies of the finest finishing school in New York City, owned and operated by Mrs. Sarah Ogden Hoffman, decided to do their part for the upcoming Metropolitan Sanitary Fair, which was ultimately held in 1864. The girls worked for two years to create Rose’s wardrobe of clothing which features finery fit for Queen Victoria herself.  The girls asked the most prominent merchants of the day for accessories that might accompany their creations, and would also provide Rose with items that might be tempting by her potential buyer.  After being supplied with exquisite fabrics by New York’s premier dry-goods purveyor Arnold, Constable & Co., the schoolgirls secured jewels and other precious treasures from the boutique of Charles Tiffany, along with miniature fur creations from C.G Gunther.

At the Metropolitan Sanitary Fair, Rose was first purchased outright by Mrs. John Jacob Astor, who then in an act of extreme generosity, donated her back to the Sanitary Commission to be raffled off.  The raffle raised $1200 in addition to the unknown amount paid by Mrs. Astor.  The $1200 that was paid for a mere doll was an unbelievable sum in its time. The lucky winner of the raffle also donated Rose back, but to the students of Mrs. Ogden Hoffman’s school.  The young ladies in turn gifted Rose to their school doctor’s daughter, a little girl named Bertha Peters.  Immediately, Rose was dispatched to other sanitary fairs in order to help raise additional funds for those suffering from the ravages of the Civil War.

Under Bertha’s care, Rose Percy aided worthy causes for a sixty-year period. In 1919, near the end of her life, Bertha placed Rose on temporary loan to the American Red Cross Museum in Washington D.C.  The very next year, Bertha gifted Rose to the organization, and with that gift, she became the official mascot of the Junior Red Cross. Rose served in that capacity for over eighty years, and during that time greeted visitors from all over the world.

The year 2010 found the American Red Cross facing deficits, so the decision was made to sell off valuable assets in order to reduce their debt. Countless historic artifacts were sent to the auction block, including Rose Percy, who is in fact, older than the Red Cross itself.

Happily, Miss Rose Percy was purchased by a proud American with the true wish that not only should Rose always reside in the United States of America, but also that Rose should resume doing what she has proven she does best, and that is active fundraising for those who are in need.