Antique woman doll, Santohs Yolanda France

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Santons are clay figures made in Provence in the South of France. They represent traditional paysans (peasants) from the region. Beautiful Santons from master craftsman Claude Carbonel, are 11" tall and have fabric clothes. They are decorated by hand, each one is a unique piece. The bodies, dressed one after the other with care, in the traditional manner, are articulated in several parts by wire so that their postures can be changed. All stand on a base from clay of Provence (this makes you the proud owner of a tiny plot of "land of Provence"). The details and finish are second to none. 

This woman is holding a mysterious cotton stalk in her hand, well, it's mysterious to me because I am a NY city girl, but if I lived in France in the early 1900's, the cotton wand would make more sense.  Please let me know if you know the use of this object.  

This came from an old family friend who passed away in the 1960's at a very old age.  My mother saved it all these years.  It would be lovely to find someone who would enjoy having this.  Is that you?