FRENCH BISQUE II

 

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Spectacular and beautiful 25″ ( 64 cm ) Gauthier bebe with all the features and characteristics of their first attempts of manufacturing a bebe ( or child doll ) as opposed to their previous poupees ( what we now term ” fashion dolls “). She is incised on back of the bisque socket head ” F. 12 G. “ ( in block letters ) , and this head is mounted to a separate bisque shoulder plate which is in turn attached to a heavy firm white leather body with gusset joints at the elbow, hips, and knees, and extended uniquely designed bisque forearms with well-defined fingers and nails with no damage or restorations observed. This body is somewhat ” Bru-like ” in design but the shoulder plate is flatter such as one finds in the Bru Brevete model and not with the molded bosom in the slightly later( Bru ) models. Also, the shape of the fingers is unique to this period FG  with a  ” cupped ” bend at the knuckles which is its distinguishing factor. One might describe the overall proportions of the doll as ” toddleresque” as she is a young child yet not a baby. The facial expression of the doll is stunning with closed mouth with slight separation to the lips and molded tongue tip as found as the ” best ” Bru Jne bebe. There is a deep dimple in the chin, dramatic brown paperweight eyes in almond-shaped sockets, well painted lashes and thick blond multistroke brows, and pierced ear lobes. She is magnificently costumed in a dress of cream printed floral silk, lace, and multiple shades of violet, purple and lavender silk panels and ribbons with an elaborate hat that is well-coordinated with the dress. The wig is antique blond curly mohair ( over a cork pate, ) and the shoes old black canvas with leather soles. One of the loveliest dolls of this type that we have observed  and she is being offered at less than half of what one would expect to pay for a Bru and just as outstanding! ……US$ 6,750.

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Very pretty and found less seldom than many other French bebes is this child stamped in red on back of head ” PHENIX ” and also incised ” *  ( star ) 93 “. She stands 22” ( 55 cm ) tall, has large blue glass eyes, well painted lashes and multistroke evenly arched eyebrows, a closed mouth with full upper lip and slight parting of the lips, highlighted nostrils and distinct philtrum on upper lip, and overall even coloring with slightly rouged cheeks. The wood and mostly mache French body bears original patina, and is fully jointed with straight wrists ( hands covered by original French leather gloves ). The elaborate costume is bluish-green silk and antique lace with matching bonnet, the shoes antique black leather with buckles, and the wig antique honey human hair with side part. These dolls were designed by Henri Alexandre who in the early to mid 1890s merged with the successors to Jules Steiner, hence some recognizable style characteristics in both the bisque and body style of the 1890s marked Steiner dolls. A lovely example in overall good condition and quality in a moderate size….US$ 3,100.

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Classic French 26″ ( 66 cm )  bebe with head stamped in back in red ” DEPOSE TETE JUMEAU 12 “ , with an addition incised ” 12″ at the neck socket with large bulbous brown paperweight eyes, closed mouth with slight white space between the lips, well painted lashes and evenly arched thick painted brows, pierced ear lobes, and mounted by a coil spring to the original wood and papier-mache fully jointed French body with straight wrists, stamped in blue on back torso ” BEBE JUMEAU  diplome d’honneur” , bearing fine original finish. Luckily she still retains her fine original blond mohair wig with bangs over cork pate, and has been elaborately well costumed in a burgundy silk taffeta , lace , and plaid dress with well  coordinated large bonnet. The antique brown leather shoes are unmarked but are of the period of the doll and fit her well as do the old socks and undergarments. A most attractive doll , well presented, and with great stature ad overall excellent quality!…………………….US $ 3,200.

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Charming 18 1/2″ ( 47cm ) Jumeau bebe with huge blue paperweight bulbous eyes , closed mouth , finely painted lashes and thick multistroke eyebrows, pierced ear lobes and dimple in the chin. At the base of the neck is an incised ” 8 “ and at back top of the head there is a blotted out red stamp mark that originally would have said ” Depose Tete Jumeau 8 “. In addition, just below the ” scrub mark” there is a small round hole, not a break or damage, but a space allowing for the possible insertion of a lever to allow the eyes to open and close had it ever been included.  These so-called ” Scrub Mark Jumeaux”  or ” Bebe Reclames ” were such that were sold by the Jumeau firm directly to French retailers such as ” Au Printemps” , ” Galleries Lafayette ‘, etc. so they could place in their own store boxes or add a silk streamer to the costume or chemise to claim as their own ( e.g. – “Bebe Au Printemps “, etc ). In this same time period the ” sleep -eye turn-key mechanism “  was invented so many of the heads made during in new innovation period were made with this opening optional and some were included with the key and those not and with stationery eyes placed instead either left open or were filled in with plaster before selling. Rumors among doll collectors were circulated in the modern era that these ” scrub marks ” were ” seconds “  ( indicating they were maybe of substandard quality ) but the history shows that Jumeau overproduced in this period and rather than just reduce the price of the dolls that actually bore his trademark, it was more a ” matter of pride ” that they develop unique this wholesale marketing technique as the dolls sold by the stores under their own branding technically no longer said ” Jumeau”, despite them being easily recognized by anyone motivated enough to discern. This beautiful example is on he originally fully jointed wood and composition ( Jumeau ) body ( which is NOT STAMPED Jumeau ) and retains most of the original patina. She has the original blond mohair wig with bangs over a cork pate, has antique camel color French leather boots with “9” impressed on the soles, and is costumed in a nice old silk dress , linen underwear , and cotton and lace antique bonnet.  A stunning example for at least a 20% discount in price simply for no longer having the original Jumeau markings. US$ 2,450.