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Nelling, Inc.

French   D o l l s

page  1, 2

(Click on photos to enlarge)

, "Madelaine",   Block Letter F.G., Bru-type  Bebe with Plenty to Wear

How sweet is this very young child (13 1/4") embodied in a very early, Gaultier Block Letter bebe with plump, Bru type gusseted kid leather body.  Her eggshell white bisque swivel head and shoulder plate match the bisque of her early, claw-type bisque hands which are intentionally similar to, but not exactly like the hands of a Bru.
,   She has deep blue paperweight eyes, pale lashes, brows and cheek color, pierced ears and her original, but sparse skin wig in short and curly platinum strands. In her wooden, hump-back trunk with tray and extra compartment is quite an extensive wardrobe for such a little one! 
, There are five special antique  garments, from playtime to special outings to partytime and, of course, an antique long cotton nightgown for sweet dreams. 
  Amazingly her one, French lace and silk bonnet matches all her costumes, however she wouldn't mind if someone added a few extra chapeaus to mix and match.  White cotton undergarments, crocheted socks and leather boots are all antique.

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First Period Jumeau E.J. Bebe

  The early, first period Jumeau E.J. bebe with the incised mark on the back of her head of an "8" over "E J".  This doll was born just after the Jumeau portrait bebe, and the two models often look like each other, with outgoing and incoming design getting combined on the production line.  The one resounding description of Jumeau's early dolls is the word "gentle", which can be applied to the painting of her features, the cut of her soulful, brown paperweight eyes, and the soft complexion of her pale bisque.
  Inside her head is the original coil "screwgle" that firmly mounts her head to her sturdy, chunky early French body.  It is stamped with the Jumeau mark on the lower back, is jointed at the shoulders, hips, elbows and knees with floating or loose balls, and has its original finish and patina except for some retouch on the right lower leg.
Her costume is such a unique representation of Victorian child style, being a fully knitted frock of teal blue wool, covering the back closure buttons,  joining with a brimmed, knitted cap of the same yarn, and charming, cozy leg warmers or knee length spats that cover her signed E. Jumeau factory shoes.  Completing the wintery ensemble is a Jumeau, fawn wool coat with cape collar and a hand-warming muff with crimson silk lining.

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French Character Young Man

  There were several firms like Lantenier, Limoge, Huret and Fleischman Bloedel, to name a few, that produced these amusing character faces that lent themselves so well to the theatrical French themes in toys and dolls.  This one (11")  is marked JE Masson, Lorraine, No 20, and is a product of the Limoge factory.  He has painted eyes and molded teeth, a mohair wig and a fully jointed French composition body.  Whether he portrays a magician or a dancer, his original tuxedo and top hat earn him a moment under the spotlight entertaining us, his audience.

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Fre. A Steiner

La Parisienne

With the flat and crisp quality that an original organdy dress can supply, this cabinet size Figure A Steiner has that impeccable original feel that lovers of genuine doll clothing can appreciate.  Only time can give us this unmistakable look and feel and it is so satisfying.  Not to mention the antique bonne that compliments her crisp ensemble!  Underneath are her antique white undergarments, stockings and French, ivory leather shoes.  What a simple, clean presentation!
Her blue paperweight eyes, closed mouth, smooth, rose petal bisque, and softly- toned decoration are framed with her original blond mohair wig atop her original grey cardboard Steiner pate.  Her fully jointed Steiner body with slim hands is in excellent condition, and bears the "La Parisienne" stamp on the upper left hip area.  Her ivory painted fingernails suggests that she came from the Au Nain Bleu store in Paris, circa late 1880's.

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Divine, Unmarked Bebe

Attributed to Mothereau

Like answering a question with a question, so does this muse of a bebe provoke thought, complete a search and then cause it to continue.  The hunt for an exquisite French bebe that has the attributes of the finest makers of that golden time may be over, but the learning continues.  Marked only with an incised "2/0" on the back of the head, she opens discussion on being an early Jumeau, Schmitt or a Petit et Dumoutier, but a study of the body design brings Mothereau to the table.

Now everything seems to fall into place as she may be very similar to her ca. 1870's sisters, but the unusual expression that you  know you've seen but not frequently, comes into focus.  The highly unusual style of molding at the joints of her early, straight wrist French body is that of the Bebe Mothereau, as is her unique facial molding.  As a very early bebe, she has unevenly cut, large almond eye sockets, dark brown enamel eyes, pale bisque (tiny pit at end of nose), an original and somewhat wild sheepskin wig, and a closed mouth with full lips that almost want so part and speak.  Her A-line linen factory frock has the palest aqua ribbon detail that is repeated subtly on her frilly silk bonnet, both of which are perfect in every way for her.  Undergarments all antique as are her pale aqua, crocheted socks and cream canvas antique shoes.

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Petit e' Dumoutier

Wax Over Composition

As an example of the many innovations by the French doll factories of the 1880's to create a bebe that was unbreakable or "incassable",  this fresh-faced bebe has the facial features and body detail that tie her to the PD factory.  Her wide, rounded face with idealistically almond, blue glass eyes, pouty mouth and soft coloring play well with her wax over composition complexion that is very well preserved with just the expected surface crazing.
Her body has the signature metal hands used by PD, on a near mint, five-piece composition body that retains it's French boutique stamp.  She wears a factory, candy pink cotton frock, lace bonnet, and antique caramel colored mohair wig and some extra-ordinary, original cotton undergarments.  The ivory leather, lace-up  shoes are antique.  This is one to round out any fine, French bebe collection.

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Early Steiner

Rare Series A

There was something so endearing about how Jules Steiner saw children and how he expressed it with his simpatico, heartwarming faces and sometimes primitive, innocent artistry.  The earlier, Series models especially had these qualities and it is displayed in the rounded, infant like face of this Series "A" girl (rarer than the "C" model).  Her pale, translucent bisque is the purest backdrop for her pale blue enamel eyes, lightly tinted closed lips, subdued  decoration of features, and pierced ears. Her original Steiner pate is under her short, antique, blond skin wig.
  Her early Steiner body has straight wrists, is fully jointed, and has the chunky, young proportions that we love on these infant-like, premiere dolls.  Much of her La Petit Parisien stamp on the left hip has been worn off.  Her cotton and lace dress is a beautiful, factory garment with frothy lace ruffles on the bodice and hints of pink ribbon hiding underneath.  She wears antique, beige leather, lace up shoes, crocheted stockings, and extra special are her fine and soft undergarments.

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  Rabery and Delphieu Bebe

In a darling cabinet size of 12 1/2", here is a scrumptious R.D. bebe with added presence due to her fine, deluxe face. No detail was spared in her production, from her large, rich brown paperweight eyes, supple closed mouth, palest smooth bisque, soft decoration of features, pierced ears. and long and curly, antique auburn mohair wig.
Her fully jointed, straight wrist French composition and wood body carries through the palette of her early, pale bisque, with beautifully posed hands, one middle finger showing a crack.  Her antique bebe dress of fawn, Dupionesque silk has dramatic embellishments of artistically tied, robust, rose velvet bows.  Undergarments, leather shoes and stockings are antique as well.

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  Elusive Bru Modele


Early Brevete

  Posing here is Bru Brevete Bebe on irresistible Modele wood body, that moves, tilts, and displays agility like the mannequin that it actually is.  Both the fashion wood body and this, the bebe Modele body are constructed in the same style as a wooden mannequin, with no reasonable pose being impossible. This is what gives her an unparalleled quality of enchantment and desirability.
  Her carved wood and fully articulated body (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles!) has some discoloration, paint wear and stains, an area of worn wood on the front left knee, and her arms could be a bit tighter for posing.  The finish is original and there is an incised mark between the shoulders on the back as shown in the photo.  Her pale bisque head has vibrant blue paperweight eyes and gentle decoration and wears a voluminous antique, blond mohair wig with bangs.
  Her likely Bru, A-line frock is of a silk blend in cream and cocoa brown, with fraying on both sleeves.  Her antique silk bonnet has a halo of eiderdown feathers around the crown and she wears a turquoise glass bead necklace and pierced earrings.  Her undergarments ingeniously all button to each other in several places, but are separate pieces and her marked Bru leather shoes are ready for dancing.

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Little French Communion Girl

As Candy Container!

Commemorating a young girl's First Communion is this all original French bisque doll mounted on a circular, cardboard candy box.  She has a socket head on a composition body, brown glass eyes, closed mouth, a ginger mohair wig and wears her clean and pristine original Communion gown and long veil, along with her little matching pouch. 
Hanging from her right hand is her miniature, glass bead French rosary and around her neck her silver toned medal.  Next to her in one of the photos is a smaller friend, a French all bisque also in Communion garb, found on the All Bisque Page of this site for sale.

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  Bru Teteur

Size 2

A very young Bru bebe with the Circle Dot head featuring the Teteur open mouth and inside head mechanism that enabled the action of drinking from a bottle.  This done by turning the metal key at the back of the head, applying pressure to the rubber water compartment in the head and allowing the passage of fluid from a special glass bottle.
  This lovely example has deep brown paperweight eyes and palest bisque with her original lambskin platinum wig, pierced ears, swivel neck, head and shoulder marked with "2" and a very clean leather body with bisque hands (one patch to leather at top of right leg).  Her infant gown and bonnet are antique cotton and lace with pale blue ribbon accents to compliment the blue underdress, and around her neck is a simple bone teething ring.

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Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

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

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