It was a magical time in France , Bébés, or dolls made to represent children, were quite revolutionary for their time (starting about 1850), since most dolls up until that time were made to represent adults. These child dolls, with their kid or composition bodies, fine bisque heads, and beautiful expressions, were called Bébés, a significant name, since up to this time most dolls, including the popular ladies, had been known as poupees.
They were usually sold exquisitely dressed, in doll-sized fashions worn by children of that era. At last there will be dolls in the little girls’ small, own image.! For the children they represented another role model; they were like sisters that never did anything naughty, never played in the dirt, always listened and hardly ever spoke a word.
painted lashes, and beautifully painted brows in layered multi-strokes. Closed mouth with a slightly molded tongue between the shaded, and outlined lips. Long blonde human hair wig, that falls to the waist in tight curls.
Her couture includes what may be her original dress. Bonnet is also antique black or very dark blue velvet with a wide brim, feather plumes and long velvet ties. It is held in place with an antique hat pin. She is wearing her original Bee marked Jumeau shoes and carries an antique parasol of turquoise and pink silk.
Body made of wood, all original doll. Dress bears the label "Maison Parisienne Bertone C. Milano
Jumeau was the French manufacturing firm responsible with the evolution of dolls between 1841 and 1899. They were pristine and immaculately dressed, the essence of the great French doll. Symbols of their age and invaluable records of the fashions and aesthetic ideals of the period. By 1873 the firm was a highly efficient organization. Pierre-Francoise Jumeau was joined by his son, Emile, who took the leap that opened the way to new industrial methods. These were the years the Bebe Jumeau became fully established and a team of skilled workers were being made responsible for the various components of the doll. One person would work on the moulds for the different parts of the body. The most skilful will decorate the heads. A special section was employed in making the beautiful glass eyes that were the pride of the firm and set the standard for other companies to follow. The dynasty peaked in 1890 when bebes were made with parted lips to reveal lovely porcelain teeth. In spite of this success, this period marked the beginning of a gradual decline. Mass production brought about a reduction of the high standards of the dolls from earlier years and the company was beset by fierce competition from German firms that managed to maintain low prices and high productivity.
children who are reflected in the bebes.
Gorgeous Steiner all original with antique dress and parasol
An extraordinary Series C Steiner with lever eyes of deep blue enamel, mauve eye shadow, closed mouth, full moon face with delicate coloring over smooth, ivory bisque and original, long, luscious blond mohair wig. She has a gray cardboard pate with remnants of a French label, however the originality is not certain. Her early, chunky Steiner body with straight wrists and robust, so called "banana" hands, wears her white pique antique frock so well. Topped off with an antique, flower-adorned black bonnet and black leather shoes, she is brimming with style and substance..
They were showered with affection by the children that were so eager to give it. But once the child had enjoyed a few minutes of excitement and pleasure, the precious doll would inevitably be packed away by some wise grandmother for safe keeping, and only brought out on special occasions. The fact that child was forbidden to play with it freely, caused the doll to be more desirable, but at the same time was gradually forgotten, tucked away in some dark attic. Consequently, these dolls survived their original owners, to be re-discovered later by some other adoring child. To the delight of today’s collectors, many of these dolls, although showing the scars of time, are given another chance to shine in their glory, thus proving they are far too precious to be discarded forever.