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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

Supreme Early Jumeau

Unmarked E.J.A. Bebe


This early bebe from Jumeau, called the EJA was made in only two sizes, 10 and 12, and for only a short time between 1879 and into 1881. Appearing at about the time of the inspired Carrier – Belleuse Triste Bebe, the EJA face had its own distinct characteristics, such as a similarly longer face, narrow almond shaped eyes, a finely outlined, closed mouth whose prim lip lines were trespassed by tidy, liquid-like shading to make them appear plump, and gorgeously tinted, pressed bisque with applied ears.  

Even other makers like Schmitt produced a doll with a sort of family resemblance at this time. The eyes on this doll are rich, brown paperweight or what Jumeau called “human eyes” and her wig is antique mohair in a rosy blond tint that so compliments her complexion. Some of the EJA bebes were not marked as is the case with this one, bearing only the mark of an incised “10” at the back of the head and this particular bebe was also known as “Elizabeth”.  

Only one body style was used for this model, being the chunky eight-ball composition body with straight wrists and oversized hands, and she does have the Jumeau “Medaille D'Or” stamp on the lower back. Her antique French costume is superb, made of soft, pink silk with puffed sleeves and a full skirt, then with an abundant lace over-skirt with inset ivory ribbons all around. Her soft, lacy antique bonnet repeats the deluxe, frilly mood. Her antique leather boots lace up to mid-calf and she layers of antique cotton undergarments beneath it all. 

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Henri Alexander Phenix Star Bebe


From the house of Henri Alexander in the mid-1880's comes this beguiling French doll (24") called the Phenix Bebe or Phenix Star, due to the *89 incised on the back of her beautiful bisque head. She has large, blue paperweight eyes, an elongated nose, closed mouth and meticulous painting of dramatic features. Her brunette human hair wig could be original, she has pierced ears and has a fully jointed, wood and composition body with some wear at the neckline and joints.  

The firm of Henri Alexander had later connections with the Steiner firm, explaining her resemblance to some of the Steiner bebe molds and painting of features. Her royal blue silk frock with added details and pleating has that original feel along with her icy blue silk-lined, black velvet cape with fur collar trimmed with black glass beading, plus a matching, black velvet, pointed bonnet. Antique undergarments, socks and leather shoes.                                                                                                                                                                                                      LW

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Original Jumeau Twins

$6,250. for the pair 

Originality times two! From a grand, old Craftsman style home in Pasadena, CA come these two sister Tete Jumeaux (both 20"), each wearing their original French silk frocks with lace overlay. Being stored for so long this way, the dresses have some staining, wear and discoloration, one more than the other, but what a great provenance to preserve for the rest of their history.

 They are both size 9 dolls, with fully jointed wood and composition, jointed wrist bodies, one having the Bebe Jumeau oval body sticker, both with big brown paperweight eyes and closed mouths with rose tinted lips, pale bisque and pierced ears. One has a brunette human hair wig and the other blond, both antique. The undergarments do not match exactly, however every component of their presentation is antique, with a special bonus of the brunette girl wearing her original, size 9 Tete Jumeau shoes!                                                            LW

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Tiny Bru Brevete

Not Perfect, but Oh, So Special


No matter how much attention is given to the gentle bisque flaws of this 10” Bru Brevete bebe, it cannot compare to the intoxicating quality this little piece of Heaven can supply. Her palest, pressed bisque head has blue enamel eyes, soft, detail and painting of features, a closed mouth, enfantine plump cheeks, and a short, sheepskin wig. It also has two hairlines that could very well have been there since the beginning as often would happen in the factory with this early bisque. One is at the bridge of the nose and the other, up and down the back of the head, and both have a faint, amber hue, typical of factory lines.   Her right earring hole is broken through on the outside surface.

 She is marked with a faint, incised mark at the back of head is either a 1/0 or 2/0.   This angelic bebe has a swivel neck (does not move much) on a bisque shoulder plate, bisque lower arms and an early Bru, gusseted leather body that still retains its original factory chest label. The undergarments look original due to their fit and matching trim, and the gown is an antique pique type cotton dress with lace trim and silk ribbon embellishments. The silk bonnet is made of antique materials as are the satin slippers. This is an especially difficult petite one to part with!

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Jumeau Bebe Reclame with Jumeau Shoes

Faint Hairline


Factory original from head to toe is this Bebe Reclame, a product of Jumeau that was commissioned by a department store or boutique to be manufactured with no I.D. marks. What a delight she is with stunning blue paperweight eyes, an open mouth with teeth, that uniquely pretty facial decoration found on these types of Jumeaus, clear, pale bisque and soft shading, pierced ears and her original human hair wig in long, tamed ringlets. She has a remarkably clean but unmarked wood and composition Jumeau body, fully jointed and with jointed wrists.

As for clothing, she has her original, factory chemise that doubles as a dress with its lace covered bodice, sleeves and hemline, over a pale blue under layer. The undergarments are fine quality with the pantaloons having tucking detail, and her crocheted black Jumeau socks and brown leather shoes are true Jumeau, with the shoes being marked so, on the bottom of the sole. The hairline coming from the crown of her head only affects her in value, but not her beauty in any way, so she is offered at a reduced price from normal market value for such a complete and special bebe.

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Polichinelle  FG

24 1/2"

Commedia del' Arte


Originating from the Italian “Commedia del' Arte”, a 17th Century Neopolitan cartoon puppet named Pulcinella, the character we call Polichinelle has taken many forms in childhood illustrations. But the humped back, protruding stomach, gangly legs, tall comical hat and colorful, blocked pattern costumes usually remain. At least in part. This particular example has a French bisque head by Francois Gaultier, with blue paperweight eyes, a closed mouth, pale complexion and tightly curled short, blond wig. It has wood and paper mache, leather-covered hands and feet, with the feet shaped and decorated to similate quite theatrical, pointed toe shoes and stockings.  

The limbs are all attached to outer chords that could be manipulated from above to facilitate action and comedy. The torso is of molded paper mache with the limbs of wire armature, and the completely original, vibrantly colored costume is stuffed and permanently applied to the doll and is in very good condition with some expected areas of melting and fraying. A bit of comedy, a bit of theatrical history, and a lot of fun as an antique doll. 

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Early Steiner Bebe

Two Rows of Teeth


 We love our early Steiner children with their almost primitive look, including spiral enamel, almond shaped eyes, open mouth with two rows of teeth, palest, almost white bisque, subtle painting of features and full, extra youthful face. Very interesting is her early head opening, which, instead of starting at the top of the forehead, is a smaller round hole towards the back of the head, sealed with a fine fitting, round cork. The sheepskin wig in a subdued platinum is not original, however it does have some age. The body is interesting, as it has the form and construction of a Steiner body, but from slightly later era, having jointed shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, straight wrists and slim fingers.

The body fit and condition is excellent, and the color fresh and original. Where Steiners call for a certain, unique style of fashion to elaborate on their simplicity and simpatico presence, it is fitting to see this girl in her light, peachy pink silk from with dropped waist and ruffle-edged hemline, then having a long matching jacket with double pointed hemline, short puffed sleeves and whimsical, drawstring front closing. Her ecru fabric bonnet is antique as are her socks and ivory leather, lace-up high bootines. 

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Character Huret Bebe

15 1/2"
From the Provost Period

$12,950.  ON LAYAWAY

Featured in the John Darcy Noble Book, A Treasury of Beautiful Dolls on page 197, and also in the 2003 auction catalog of the Maurine Popp collection, is this rare Huret bebe of the late 19th century, early 20th century. She is truly a character child, in the same flavor as the provocative Provost fashion dolls being made by Huret at the time. But her proportions are all bebe.

 This girl's amused expression features blue glass almond shaped eyes with brush stroked lashes and brows, a closed mouth with an almost suspicious half-grin, rosy blushed cheeks on pale bisque and a replaced platinum mohair wig in a short, tousled style. The incised mark at the rear base of her neck is HURET, an elongated neck like that of a young teenager and it fits perfectly into the raised socket of her fully jointed French composition and wood body with a shapley, older girl waist. There is some paint flaking off on her torso (and hands), probably wear from doll stands, and even though there is a pink layer below, the finish of the body looks original and was maybe a top layer. Her antique A-line frock is a smart, burgundy and black striped number, with black velvet trim and she wears an antique velvet bonnet, antique undergarments and black leather shoes. 

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Tete Jumeau Size 5 Bebe Reclame + Much More!


What is not to like about a cheerful, 14” size 5 Jumeau Reclame bebe with extras?! This lucky girl has blue paperweight eyes, peachy, smooth bisque, an open mouth, pierced ears and an older blond human hair wig.

She has a fully jointed, unmarked Jumeau body, as is her head with only the size number 5, making her a Jumeau Reclame doll that was commissioned by a French retailer to be marketed with the only name of the that particular store. She is jointed at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees with some scuffing a paint loss to her body which looks pretty carefully played with.

And the playing can continue as you change her between her two antique outfits, mixing and matching some added antique accessories, which are contained in her antique wardrobe box, decorated with a delightful image of rambunctious children.

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Jumeau Triste Bebe

Size 13


Affectionately called the “long-faced” Jumeau for her apparently somber mood, the Jumeau Triste (“sad” in French) offers an important spot in your bebe collection. Maybe she is just one of those friends who doesn't smile a lot, but instead displays a pensive depth in her natural expression.

What a beautiful look she has, with dark brown paperweight eyes, detailed lashes, brows and shading, an elongated face with a rose pink closed mouth, pale, creamy bisque and pierced ears. Her antique blond wig is a hand sewn masterpiece with long, flowing locks called tails and it is possibly original. The head in incised “13” and the body is the typcical Triste style with the very chunky torso, jointed arms and legs, but with straight wrists and it is well marked in the back “Jumeau Medaille D'Or.”   There is a small white rub on her lower left cheek. 

Her antique costume is multi-layered with an under dress of feather-light ecru net over a fine silk lining and covering that up is a deepest blue, velvet coat dress with a faint ecru dotted pattern and pearly buttons. Her undergarments are so Jumeau with the crisp half slip and pantaloons, with matching camisole and she wears an antique satin, silk and lace trimmed bonnet, also in ecru. Her black leather shoes are antique child shoes.

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Steiner Fre. A Bebe

Extraordinary Markings


Here is a stand-out Steiner Figure A bebe, not only due to her especially appealing face, but also due to her presentation, body and shoe markings and sublime antique costume. Let's start with her large, blue paperweight eyes and closed mouth with artful painting of features that give her a sincere and serious expression.

Her bisque is strikingly pale, she has pierced ears and what looks to be her original, tightly curled human hair locks. Her fully jointed Steiner body with slender hands not only has the flag-carrying “Le Petit Parisien, Medaille D'Or” paper label on the hip, but also a boutique paper label on the middle of her back that matches the mark on the sole of her original shoes (One shoe is missing the sole). They both read “A La Mignonette, 4 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette”. The body label also reads “Poupees et Bebes, Costumes et Trousseaux, Mon Guigue”.

The vibrant, antique red dress is a strong, with a prominently ruffled bodice treatment, and her bonnet compliments it all with a subdued orange red, woven cap with red silk trim and ties. Fine, burgundy woven stockings finish the package but we must not forget to mention the quality, multi-layered undergarments with pink woven thread trim and some matching lace edging on the pantaloons and the half-slip. Such an exquisite example of this doll!

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Galloping Wind-Up Horse and Rider


Although this interesting wind up toy is much older than any of us, he brings to mind the mood of the film, “Lawrence of Arabia”, with his galant, multi layered costume of the Middle East and his riding pose on his four-legged desert transportation. Purchased in Paris France, he has a French bisque character head with brown bisque, brown glass eyes, an open mouth with teeth, and a paper mache body with metal hands, jointed at the shoulders and hips.

His intricate costume with hooded head turbin is a combination of cotton, linen, felt and cord trim with black boots and he sits on a leather saddle with reins.   His mohair covered horse supplies all the action as when you wind the key under the belly, his legs pivot front to back to cause a galloping motion, with the rider changing posture as needed.

The entire piece is about 11" tall,  and 11" long, with the mane and tail of the horse being of real horse hair!

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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 

Don't forget to look at the Miscellaneous page!

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