Monday, August 20, 2012
Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: So, when is it an addition, cont'd: When is a hobby too much? Anyone ever read "A Gentle Madness," about collecting in general, or hobbies in particular, or "Magnificent Obsess...
I was educating a friend about them this Sat. at a doll show. He had never been to one, and we saw a Smiling Bru in a small size, about 12 in, for nearly $6000, and an 18 in doll with an extra outfit and hat for $13,900. Denise brings up some good questions and issues, here. Mrs. Coleman felt they were for show, not play, but a "play doll" of this type appears in Robert Penn Warren's Band of Angels, and I have a vintage photo of a little girl clutching one that looks played with. It's, perhaps, a matter of opinion.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
French Fashion Dolls - All About French Fashion Dolls By Denise Van Patten, About.com Guide .French Fashion Doll Denise Van PattenIntroduction To French Fashion Dolls: French Fashion Dolls were dolls created in the 19th century to showcase the fashions of their day and to help teach young ladies how to gracefully grown into womanhood. The dolls are much prized today for their exceptionally detailed clothing and accessories--exceptional examples can be found today with complete trousseaus including everything from nightgowns to opera glasses to evening gowns. The dolls reigned for many years in the mid 19th century as the most deluxe dolls money could buy, until they were usurped by child dolls produced in Germany. Years of Production of French Fashion Dolls: The earliest French Fashion dolls were produced by companies including Huret and Rohmer in the 1850s and 1860s. The dolls were produced until approximately 1900, although the bulk of their production and their heyday in quality and artistic merit was from the 1850s through approximately 1885. Materials Used To Make French Fashion Dolls: The vast majority of French Fashion dolls have bisque heads, glass eyes, and leather bodies. The earliest French Fashion dolls had porcelain heads (glazed china) and early examples often had multi-jointed wood bodies. Other materials used to make French Fashion doll bodies included gutta percha, blown leather, and cloth. Some dolls had painted eyes; generally glass eyes are more highly prized. A few French Fashion doll heads have been found made with other materials, including rubber (few survive today). Companies That Made French Fashion Dolls: Companies that have made French Fashion dolls include Huret, Rohmer, Jumeau, Bru, Gaultier, Barrois, Simone, and many others. Marks on French Fashion Dolls: The vast majority of French Fashion dolls are unmarked as to the maker; they are generally only marked with a size number on the bisque shoulderplate. A few marks are known, including F.G. for Gaultier, and some Jumeau French Fashion dolls are marked. A few French Fashion dolls are stamped with the maker on the leather or cloth body The Demise of French Fashion Dolls: The French Fashion doll industry was extremely healthy for many years in the mid to late-1800s, with many shops in Paris, France devoted to the dolls and their accoutrements. However, in the 1880s, bisque child dolls(also made in France by companies such as Jumeau) and then in Germany, as the German dollmaking industry began a rapid ascendancy in the late 1880s. Soon, the cheaper Germany production crowded out most of the French production of both Bebes and French Fashion dolls (Poupees) out of the market, and by the late 1890s the French dollmaking industry was mostly history. Modern Descendents of French Fashion Dolls: Modern dolls such as Barbie, Bratz, Tyler Wentworth, and Ball Jointed Dolls which have adult figures, made to show off fashions and accessories, can be considered the great, great, great granddaughters of the French Fashion Dolls. Prices for French Fashion Dolls: Prices for the choicest French Fashion dolls have climbed astronomically in the past decade. Fine examples with original couture outfits and those with rarer markings, plus those with desirable body features (wood bodies, gutta percha bodies bisque limbs), can rarely be found for less than $5,000 and often for much more. Early Hurets with trousseaus can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Often, early original couture outfits can cost more than the dolls themselves and run several thousand dollars. More common French Fashion dolls, such as those with cloth or simple leather bodies, re-dressed clothing, stationary (not swivel) heads can be found for between $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the doll and condition. Many collectors who love this era of doll and sewing the clothing for these dolls but who cannot afford the high prices collect and sew for modern reproductions (which themselves generally cost at least a f
Here is the information on Jumeau dolls, Part II of this series of posts: Doll Collecting..Jumeau Dolls By Denise Van Patten, About.com Guide .Tete Jumeau in Original Clothing Denise Van PattenIntroduction to Jumeau Dolls: Jumeau antique dolls are coveted the world over. Jumeau bebes (child dolls) are known for their expressive eyes and beautiful bisque, and Jumeau French Fashion dolls are the perfect expression of their time and place. Jumeau dolls can sell for many thousands of dollars today, and demand for the dolls is quite high. The dolls were made in the second half of the 19th century during the heyday of French dollmaking by two generations of the Jumeau family. Years of Production of Jumeau Dolls: Pierre Francoise Jumeau began the Jumeau firm in the 1840s. At that time, they made papier mache dolls. By the end of the 1850s, they made porcelain (glazed) dolls, and for the rest of the firm's production thereafter, they specialized in dolls with bisque heads--first, poupees (fashion ladies) and then bebes (child dolls). Emile Louis Jumeau took over the firm in 1874, and the company remained in family hands until it was subsumed into S.F.B.J. (see below) in 1899. Materials Used To Make Jumeau Dolls: As mentioned, in the early years Jumeau dolls were made of papier mache and then porcelain (commonly called china). These dolls are nearly impossible to identify as being from the Jumeau firm today, since they are almost all unmarked. Starting in the 1860s, production moved to bisque doll heads (unglazed bisque) and most known Jumeau dolls were made of this. French fashion dolls tend to have kid bodies, although some have wood or cloth, and bisque dolls generally have composition bodies. Jumeau French Fashion Dolls: The dolls that put French dollmaking on the map were the French Fashion dolls, which were the most popular type of doll manufactured from the late 1850s through the 1870s. These dolls, also known as poupees, were lady dolls with womanly bodies and realistic clothing, shoes, hats and accessories that reflected the fashion of their time. Jumeau was one of the best-known makers of these dolls, which were usurped in the late 1879s by the bebe (child) dolls. Jumeau Bebe Dolls: Although the French Fashion dolls made by Jumeau are beautiful, it is the bebes by this firm that are more widely known. Made from the late 1870s when bebe dolls became the preferred doll of children everywhere, the dolls were made by Jumeau until they became part of SFBJ. The bebe dolls have bisque heads, paperweight glass eyes, exaggerated eyebrows and beautiful bisque. Most had closed mouths until the 1890s. The French bebe, and Jumeau, met their demise due to cheaper German production. Jumeau joins SFBJ: The French dollmakers, including Jumeau, were threatened by cheaper German production of bisque-head child dolls in the 1890s (think Chinese production vs US production today). Eventually, the French firms could no longer compete, and in a last ditch effort to survive, they combined forces as the Société Française de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets. Marks on Jumeau Dolls: Most Jumeau fashion dolls are only marked with a number, although sometimes the body is stamped. Many of the Jumeau bebes take their colloquial names from their marks--the E.J. Jumeau is marked E. (size number)J on the back of the head; the Tete Jumeau is marked Depose Tete Jumeau... on the back of the head. Often, you will see artist checkmarks as well, and a stamped composition body marked "Jumeau Medaille d'Or Paris or something similar. Price Trends For Jumeau Dolls: The rarest Jumeau french fashion dolls and bebes and those that have their original costumes and mint bodies continue to climb in price. More common dolls, including later open-mouth bebes and later french fashion dolls with cloth or simple kid bodies and common faces have had their prices stabilized in the last few years. However, expect to pay several thousand dollars for nearly any close-mouth bebe in excellent condition (collectors seem to prefer close-mouth antique bisque dolls to open-mouth ones). Jumeaus produced at the beginning of SFBJ production including those marked 1907 can be found for under $2,000. Some of the priciest Jumeau dolls include the early Portrait bisque bebe dolls which can easily be worth $20,000 to $30,000, and portrait-faced Jumeau poupees on wood bodies, which can be worth $10,000 to $20,000.This About.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in its original form, please visit: http://collectdolls.about.com/od/dollprofiles/p/jumeaudolls.htm .
I'm going to start in the middle of hte 19th century, a little out of our chronology, with some articles from the about.com doll collecting newsletter on Bru,Jumeau, and French Fashion Dolls. Take heart that it is possible to find affordable versions of these dolls that are antiques as well as fantastic reproductions made by true artists. These replicas are in themselves becoming sought after collectors items, and many are hitting the 75 year mark. Such dolls are mentioned in Band of Angels, A Little Princess, and other literature. They are probably the dolls Jenny Wren most loved to dress in their earliest forms. French dolls showing the latest fashion date even to the 12th century, and there are stories involving 14th c queens ordering them to follow fashions, and others of Anne of Britainny sending them as gifts. Early Queen Anne dolls have this reputation, but French dolls always seem to have a certain allure to them, even the Santon figures and provincial costume dolls make a fashion statement. I've loved all French dolls since I was very young, and was in my glory at the airport in Paris, where, in 1969, a little girl could vist shop after shop of amazing celluolid dolls dressed in wonderful silks and historical costumes. A little can can dancer came home on that trip, a long with a love of hot dogs stuffed with cheese. Enjoy the articles, and look for more at the about.com doll collecting site: Doll Collecting..Bru Dolls By Denise Van Patten, About.com Guide .Bru Jne 8 from Theriault's auction. www.theriaults.comBru Dolls - An Introduction: Say "Bru Dolls" to most antique doll collectors, and they will fall immediately into a reverie, either dreaming of their lovely Bru Bebe in their collection, or dreaming of the Bru Bebe doll they hope to own some day. Besides the classic and highly desirable Bru Bebes from 1879-1889, Bru also made fashion dolls starting in 1866 and later, less popular Bebes and a variety of novelty Bebes. Years of Production of Bru Dolls: Bru dolls were produced from 1866-1899, by Bru, Jne & Cie, until the company was absorbed into S.F.B.J. (the Societe Francaise de Fabrication de Bebes and Jouets) which absorbed most of the major French makers of dolls when German bisque doll competition became nearly overwhelming. Company That Produced Bru Dolls: Bru, Jne & Cie in Paris, France and Monteuil-sous-Bois, France produced Bru dolls. Materials: By far most Bru dolls were made of bisque, although a few dolls in other materials such as rubber (gutta percha) have been found. Basic Types of Bru Bebe Dolls: When you mention a Bru doll to a casual antique doll collector, the model that most comes to mind is the Bru Jne model, so called because the mark on the doll reads "Bru Jne." Bru Jnes were made in the 1880s. Other well known Bru dolls include the Bru Brevete (also so called because of the mark) which was only made from 1879-1880, the Circle-Dot Bru (so called because the mark resembles a Circle and a Dot) from 1879-1884 and the later Bru Jne R from 1889-1899. Novelty Types of Bru Dolls: Besides the basic model Bebes, Bru made a unique set of novelty dolls including the popular Bebe Teteur (nursing Bru which had a mechanism that would suck liquid from a baby bottle), the Bebe Musique (played music) and the Bebe Gourmand (had a mechanism which allowed children to feed the doll). Marks on Bru Dolls: Bru Bebes tend to be well marked; not so for the earlier Bru fashion dolls. The fashion dolls are generally marked with a letter indicating a size number, and nothing else. The Bebes generally have Bru Jne, Bebe Brevete, the circle and dot mark (which is a dot under a half-circle or in a full circle) among their doll marks. Price Trends on Bru Dolls: Classic Bru Bebe dolls as well as wood-bodied and smiling Bru fashion ladies continue to have prices increasing. Prices for excellent condition Bru Bebes (except for more common Bru Teteurs and later Bru Jne Rs) can be breathtaking, with prices for choice examples often between $15,000 and $30,000. More About Bru Dolls: Even if you are new to antique dolls, it won't take you long before you can immediately identify a Bru Bebe on sight. The features of the doll, with their large, soulful eyes ad full cheeks are legendary. The dolls are also appreciated for their lovely kid-and-bisque bodies and the beautiful original couture Bru clothing (when it can be found). Bru dolls were made in much smaller quantities than their famous French cousins, the Jumeau dolls which is one of the main reasons, besides their beauty and art, that the prices for the dolls are so high. The French Bru Fashion Dolls are also beautiful and sought after, especially the ones calle "Smilers," with slightly upturned mouths reminiscent of the Mona Lisa. Bru fashion dolls made with wood bodies are also favored by collectors. This About.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in its original form, please visit: http://collectdolls.about.com/od/dollprofiles/p/brudolls.htm
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: What's so Special about Dolls and Toys?: What's so special about dolls and toys? As collectibles, of course we know they are a good investment, and they are miniature time capsules...