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Nelling, Inc.

F r e n c h   D o l l s

page  1, 2

(Click on photos to enlarge)

French Character Girl

Similar to the Limoges character "Toto", this lively girl (25") is incised "DEPOSE, illegible Francaise, Caprice No.19" on the back of the head and certainly looks like part of the Limoges or Lanternier families!  She has big, brown paperweight type glass eyes, an open mouth with smiling teeth, pale bisque color for this later 1900 era, pierced ears, what looks to be her original human hair bob-cut wig and soft cheek shading. Her French composition body is fully jointed with jointed wrists and the hip joints are slanted in the teenage body style.
  As normally seen on these the the SFBJ bodies of the period, there is paint chipping off in areas such as the hands.  When looking at her undergarments, the possibility of original clothing becomes evident, as all the pieces button together and fit her perfectly.  Maybe her cotton dress with lace insets has been with her from the start as well, but either way, her presentation is very satisfying, especially her perky black straw bonnet with red feather to match her antique, red leather shoes.

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  Jumeau Paris Bebe

Having almost a character expression is the Paris Bebe that came from the Jumeau firm after winning an infringement lawsuit against Danel & Cie.  That ruling allowed Emile Jumeau to use the name Paris Bebe on his version of the doll which stands out noticeably from the Tete-copied Danel product.
This, the Jumeau model, has a face full of expression, starting with her captivating, blue paperweight eyes in a slightly pensive position, plus her elongated nose and very full cheeks and slightly smiling closed mouth.  She has a fully jointed composition body that bears the identifying Paris Bebe mark with the Eiffel Tower on her back.  Being a size 5 bebe, she is fortunate enough to have her original size 5 Jumeau mohair wig and her size 5 Jumeau leather shoes.  Under her derriere is some cracking to the paint surface.
The excellence continues with what seems to be her original four-piece costume, a burgundy wool ensemble including a long jacket over gathered skirt, a matching long cape with silk ties, and a lace chapeau with burgundy silk and velvet trim.  Her size 5 Jumeau shoes are fragile on the upper portion however the soles are very strong.  She has that original feel that is so special.  She is 15" tall.

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Extremely Rare Steiner

Unmarked "G" Mold

Most probably commissioned from the Steiner firm by a Parisian Store to be sold under their brand, this rare and important Steiner bebe has the bisque head of the "G" mold, just marked with the incised size number "7".  Her face of ivory bisque is heavenly, with the deep blue paperweight eyes, elongated nose and face, closed mouth with dark accent line inbetween lips, pierced ears and a full and gorgeous antique mohair wig.
Her composition, fully jointed and unmarked Steiner body is in excellent condition, has the early, chunky silhouette and has jointed wrists with the also early "banana" type hands.  She is dressed in a way that is so appropriate for an early bebe, a simple and elegant white pique, two piece coat dress with matching cape. Underneath is a flowing white cotton dress with openwork trim and antique undergarments.  Her French leather antique boots and deluxe antique, frilly silk bonnet compliment her high quality presence perfectly.

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French Bebe in Presentation Box

16 1/2"
Limoges ca. 1900

Resting in a long, pearly white, paper-covered box with lacy, cut paper trim is this friendly faced, French bisque head girl by the Limoge factory.  She has blue glass sleep eyes, an open mouth with teeth, peachy bisque and shading and her original honey blond, human hair wig and also wears her original, factory outfit including muslin chemise with turquoise accents that match her original turquoise oilcloth  shoes.
Under her right eye on the lower lid there is a fleck of bisque shaved off but looks like the factory painted an eyelash over it faintly. You can see it in the photo. Her French composition body is in near mint condition, with original patina, is fully jointed and has the side jointed "teenage" hips and jointed wrists.  While the box is narrow for her and a bit too long, it is just how she was purchased decades ago by a lifelong collector, so like this she remains.

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Early Schmitt Bebe
17 1/2"
Ready for Summer Travels

Ready for departure is this angel of a girl, an early Schmitt et Fils bebe with round face, eggshell white bisque, piercing light blue paperweight eyes, the softest of painted features and shading, pierced ears an unusual French plaster pate and a long, antique blond mohair wig.
Her Summer holiday through southern France will call for some light and airy changes of antique clothing that she models here.  A favorite is her royal blue, maritime silk frock with side buttons and narrow silk sash with hook closure  With it she wears an antique open work straw hat with an embroidered straw flower motif.  But she can decide between that and her pink cotton pinafore with wide bodice suspenders that are part of the full skirted dress, and beneath that is yet another white cotton dress with tucking that can be worn alone for another look.  Her antique straw hat has a glazed surface and is adorned with pink fabric roses.
For a casual garden party is a full, ecru cotton number with a small blue floral print that has light gray blue velvet trim at the collar and sleeves.  The antique straw hat she has chosen has pale pink flowers atop a wide, teal silk ribbon around the crown.  And a dressy affair calls for either of her frilly lace couturier dresses, one with peach silk ribbon linear accents and the other with layers of flowing French lace on the bodice, shoulders, sleeves and skirt.  Another antique straw hat with lily of the valley flowers can be worn with them both.
Bedtime is covered as well, with a simple, white gauze chemise and knit bonnet with lilac ribbon ties.  Her ivory leather French shoes are antique as are her cream crocheted stockings.  A one piece cotton camisole and pantaloon onesy and two white cotton slips make for a nice full skirt effect.  She has some belongings to bring along like an antique lamb toy, an all bisque doll with molded bonnet, some spring fabric lowers, two extra pairs of glass earrings and a contemporary silk French flag.  She and her wardrobe fit in her fine French trunk with a with a slatted tray and several divided compartments below...even a hat hook!
Her marked Schmitt body has the black shield stamp on the flat underside of the derriere, that are both specific features of the Schmitt body design.  The flat derriere underside was intended to facilitate a secure seated position.  
 The eight ball composition body with straight wrists has uniquely factory designed curves on the upper and lower limbs as well and the natural pink patina with original varnish is so appealing.

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Jumeau Premier Portrait Bebe

11 1/2"
Size 2

Soulful, dark brown enamel eyes play beautifully against the iridescent, pale bisque of this size 2 Jumeau Premier portrait bebe.  Her delicate decoration of features and softly blushed cheeks mark her early look and her platinum, sheepskin wig is so endearing and appropriate.  She has a closed mouth, pierced ears (left earring hole repaired), and is incised "2" at the lower back of her head.
  Her excellent, Jumeau "Medaille de Or" stamped body is eight-ball jointed and has its original finish.  Her simple presentation gives her an original look with her factory French chemise with pale blue silk trim that is continued on to her matching bonnet.  She has dainty, antique cotton undergarments and so important are her marked antique Jumeau leather shoes!  (Other tiny portrait Jumeau in one of the photos is currently on Layaway.)

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  F.G Block Letter Bebe Opportunity

Due to a component mismatch, here is a great opportunity to own a 10 1/2" F.G Block Letter bebe for a fraction of the price.  She displays as the diminutive bebe she is, but as shown in the photo, bottom right, you can see that her head is constructed to be attached to an automaton.  The head is now mounted on a fully jointed, French composition body with jointed wrists.  The ring finger on her right hand is missing.
  She has brown paperweight eyes, a closed mouth, blond human hair wig and pierced ears.  Her head swivels just like that of a normal bebe and it can be positioned so the gap seen in the photo does not show.  She wears a soft, peach silk dress of antique fabric and trim, plus matching chapeau.  She wears antique undergarments and vintage shoes and stockings.

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Schmitt et Fils Bebe

  The Schmitt bebe line had several faces, this one (15 1/2") being the rounder look.  With the usual, ultra pale bisque of this early era, her smaller, pensive eyes and closed mouth give her a more analytical expression.  A hint of shading and decoration of features balances well with her antique, lambskin wig that passes her pierced ears and touches her shoulders.
  Her wood and composition body is marked with the Schmitt shield symbol stamped on her flat cut derriere that allows for a very stable seated position.   This mark is also on the back of her head incised, where there is a factory flaw or baking line that comes down from the crown rim.  It is not a damage or repair, just an inherent result from the bisque separation in the firing process.  Her antique cotton and lace frock with coordinating chapeau are both decorated with sky-blue ribbon trim.  Undergarments, shoes and socks are antique.

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Earliest Bru Teteur Brevete

$8750.  (Faint Hairline)
  In the fascinating chronology of Bru bebes, the Bru Teteur, or "Nursing Bru", has a chapter all its own due to the several stages of production on this innovative doll.  Shown here (13 3/4") is the earliest in the line of these dolls that replicated the act of nursing, which was made possible by inserting in the open mouth glass bottle with rubber tip that was also offered for sale.  In the bisque head was a heavy rubber balloon that could ingest water through the mouth with suction caused by turning a knob outside the back of the head.  The earliest dolls had the ivory knob like this one, which was later replaced with metal.  None of these work anymore due to the drying of the rubber.
This early head is known as the Brevete and it portrays a very young child or even infant.  At the bottom of this listing I have provided a photo of the same doll in a Christening gown taken when I had her in my collection of early infants.  During a couple of years of production, the nursing Bru's were made using Circle Dot and also Bru Jne. heads which are more readily found.
The dramatic coloring on this child is due to the rich brown paperweight eyes against the eggshell white bisque, brought to life with gentle rose-tinted cheeks and lips.  Part of her original skin wig remains as shown in the body shots, however she also sports a replacement skin wig elsewhere, which fits on top.  She has a swivel neck on bisque shoulder plate and bisque forearms.  At the middle left side of her forehead is a faint hairline that she has had all the years in my possession (Photos available).  Her leather body is sturdy and clean with some typical bending.
Most enjoyable was finding this antique, white knit bebe ensemble that she models, using several combinations of pieces in each photo.  There is a darling one-piece camisole and pantaloon garment, a half skirt, a full dress or shift, a sweater and a matching bonnet, all with the same design.  Crocheted socks and linen shoes are also antique.  A super special doll with an endearing presentation.

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Jumeau Size 1 Premier Portrait Bebe

  At only 10 1/4", we have a huge presence from this size 1 Jumeau portrait who is tiny but mighty, with her vibrant blue spiral eyes, closed mouth,  super soft decoration of her brows, lashes, cheeks and lips, pierced ears and antique blond mohair wig cascading onto her shoulders.  Her Jumeau, eight-ball jointed body is stamped "Medaille de Ore" on the lower back and is in fine original condition, the varnish on both hands has darkened or has been reapplied.  At the bottom back of her head is an incised "1".
Her precious costume consists of a frothy, antique, lace trimmed organdy jacket over a very similar, almost matching delicate dress, she has a creamy wool slip along with all her antique cotton undergarments, socks, leather shoes and a straw hat with its own fabric flower garden surrounding the face.  Shown in the photo at the right is another small Jumeau portrait, listed separately.

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S.F.B.J. Character "Toto"

Lacking nothing in the character department, the SFBJ "Toto" (14") is so unique, she almost looks like a prototype for a special project. She has blue glass sleep eyes that dazzle, an open mouth with two rows of show-off teeth, and puffed cheeks molded into a comical pose.  Her cheeks are plenty rosy and she has a replaced, strawberry blond mohair wig that is a bit wild and crazy.
Her French composition body is fully jointed at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees for any pose she decides on.  Her antique silk frock, although melting in several places, is a lively but soft red floral print on gold and cream background, having plenty of lace and ruffles to keep her amused!

More French Dolls go to page 2


Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

      Cell (818) 738-4591   n Home Phone (818) 562-7839 

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[ home ] [ about us ] [ accessories ] [ all bisques ]  [ early ] [ fashion dolls ] [ french dolls ] [ furniture ] [ german dolls ] [ misc. dolls ] [ policies ]