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Nelling, Inc.

French   D o l l s

page  1, 2

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Choice Bru Jne.

Size 3

Having the deep molding, plump lips and molded tongue that Bru Jne. collectors love, this 14" size 3 has great presence, but in a small, cabinet size.  She has warm brown paperweight eyes, creamy bisque, an almost frowning brow that catches shadows from all angles and her antique mohair wig is a sandy dark blonde.  Her swivel head and shoulderplate with molded breasts are both marked Bru Jne. 3, and she has the typical, graceful bisque lower arms and hands with a finger repair that is virtually invisible (so much so that it is a challenge to find!).
She retains most of her original chest label on her highly modeled, transitional leather body, with the upper arms of leather covered wood.  Her antique costume of burgundy and black pinstripe satin is trimmed with black velvet for serious impact, and her Merlot velvet, high top bonnet, red linen French shoes and lace-trimmed undergarments are antique from her period as well.

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Grand Steiner Gigoteur

"Mama, Papa"

The first of the three eras for the Steiner Gigoteur, or "kicking, crying" doll brought us the super pale, rounded face with very gentle coloring, no pierced ears and enameled cobalt eyes, with the last of the dolls having much heavier decoration of features, pierced ears and paperweight eyes.  This example lean s heavily to the earlier examples, having only transitional feature of pierced ears and early, threaded blue glass eyes. 

From the early years of 1870, to the later years of 1890, the changes took place slowly for this novelty bebe that was both doll and mechanical toy with her wind-up key and stopper that, when wound, turned her into a lively girl whose head pivots from side to side, legs kick in a subtle back and forward movement, arms wave up and down, and whose voice robustly cries, "Mama, Papa!".  She has a solid dome head and wears an angelic antique blond mohair wig of soft curls, and typical leather covered, wire armature body with stout, composition arms and lower legs.  Her turning head is set high on the mechanism for easy movement, and is connected to the mechanism inside her body that brings her to life.  She wears a antique and amazingly fresh chemise of cotton, muslin and lace.

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 Marquis Jouet Magnifique!


Feast your eyes on this French marotte type toy in impeccable original condition and inside its original, labeled box.  He stands 12” overall his original costume of magenta silk, from his metallic trimmed, three corner hat and French court costume, coordinated waistcoat peeking out from under a grand and luxurious lace jabot and footed with fine knit stockings tucked into ivory leather, silk covered button slippers.

His French bisque head of approximately 1890 and bearing the Limoge anchor mark on the back,  has brown glass eyes, an open mouth with teeth, a platinum mohair wig in frivolous 18th century style, tied up with a bow.  It is impossible to undress him without destroying his historical integrity, however it is simple to tell that he has a wire armature, with a paper mache torso, and the upper leg structure is covered in stuffed fabric, with lower arms of simply carved wood.

The system of cords that connect his legs to his hands, then to a bone ring handle atop his head, have two brass bells attached to supply the festive jingling as he is dangled and spun.  His original packaging is a cardboard box with some weak areas to the lid, original tissue beneath the more recently inserted protective tissue, and with his inventory label at one outside end that reads, “MAROTTE SOUFFLET a Sifflet, Marque Deposee, Article Francais”.  

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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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Early 7 Over E.J.

18 1/2"
Factory Couturier Costume

The classic Jumeau bebe in her deluxe, couturier Jumeau frock of multi-layered faille and silk, in a print that plays with blurred colors like an impressionist painting.  She is the early E.J. with the incised "7" over the letters "E.J." on the back of her head, and an early, unmarked Jumeau eight-ball body with straight wrists. 
Just a wonderful example with her bulbous blue paperweight eyes, original blond mohair wig, applied ears, closed mouth, light shading, and original coil head attachment.  She wears her original undergarment camisole and pantaloons that button together, high quality antique crocheted stockings and rich, cranberry colored leather shoes.  Included with her is a so-called Jumeau umbrella of cranberry silk (frayed) with the signature, brass dog head handle.

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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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SFBJ 301 of Alsace Region


 A diminutive 8 1/2" SFBJ bebe 301 in her original costume of the Alsace region in northern France, famous for its big black bow statement atop the head.  She has deep ocean blue glass eyes, open mouth with teeth, pale bisque of good quality, and a French composition body jointed at the shoulders, knees and hips (left arm has crack on forearm).  Her colorful costume of starched, French blue cotton and fuchsia sateen, cream organdy, black velvet trim, and a festive print scarf, punctuated by her big black silk bow, has a vivid yet pleasant effect.  Her braided and styled strawberry blond mohair wig is original as are her undergarments and socks, shoes may be replacements. 

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Tete Jumeau

  Born of the 17th Century Italian comedy "Commedia dell'Arte", the French Polichinelle was a rambunctious clown who was a combination of two characters, Pantalone and Pulcinella. The success of those Italian plays inspired French writer, Marivaux to combine the two characters into one "Polichinelle" and its spirit has been depicted ever since as a marionette in puppet shows, political cartoons and storybook characters, and of course, as a festively dressed antique doll produced in the late 1800's.  Many French factories provided the heads for the Polichinelle, this one being that of an unmarked Tete Jumeau size 4.
His (or her) paperweight eyes are dark brown, with an open mouth with teeth, pierced ears, and original blond mohair wig.  His oversized and beautifully modeled hands are of the same luminous, pale bisque of the head.  Standing 29" tall including the hat, he can either sit or stand, displaying his original costume that retains nearly all of its original splendor and condition.  Muted shades of cream and pale pink silk retain their original decoration of metal trims, bells and the metallic strings that enable the marionette action of the arms and legs.

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Emile Jumeau  E4J

The second EJ period for Jumeau seemed to give great attention to the eyes, as most of the bebes of this mold had eyes like the deep end of a pool of crystal clear water.  This girl not only has those eyes with soft and abundant lashes and brows, but also pale, creamy bisque, an outlined closed mouth, antique blond mohair wig, pierced ears and culminating into a peaceful and innocent expression.
Her stamped Jumeau body is fully jointed with stiff wrists and in wonderful, original condition, and she wears an A-line frock of antique silks and trims, a frothy bonnet of antique lace, and antique bebe shoes and undergarments.  She is the perfect cabinet doll at 12" tall, incised "E4J".

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Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

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

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