1867 Doll by Georgel
The Met says: In 1947, in response to the suffering of post-World War II France, an American grassroots campaign organized a large-scale relief package. The following year France, moved by this generosity, organized a gift in kind. As the aide was sent to France housed in boxcars and dubbed the “American Friendship Train” the French created the “Gratitude” or “Merci Train”, a set of 49 boxcars filled with gifts of thanks. Each of the 48 states was to receive a boxcar with the 49th shared between Washington D.C., and the Territory of Hawaii, which had contributed sugar on the Friendship Train. A wide array of items was included in these cars, from handmade children’s toys to priceless works of art.
The Chambre Syndicale de la Couture de Parisienne, who, to raise money for the French people, had two years prior organized the Theatre de la Mode, a group of fashion dolls dressed in clothing from the 1947 couture collections, chose to create a new set of fashion dolls, this time representing the evolution of French fashion rather than the current season. Once again, the Syndicat tapped the most talented and well-known fashion designers, hairstylists, and accessory designers of the time to create these miniature masterpieces.
The unique design of the fashion doll, originally created for Theatre de la Mode and used again for the Gratitude Train was conceived by Eileen Bonabel, the plaster head by the artist Rebull. Each doll measures approximately 24 inches tall, with bodies made entirely of open wire. Human hair was used to fashion the hairstyles. Each designer chose a year between 1715 and 1906 for which to dress his doll. Their varying sources of inspiration included works of art, literature, and historic fashion plates. The Gratitude Train fashion dolls represent a unique moment in the history of couture as they represent not only creative interpretations of historic fashions by the greatest designers of the period, but also are infused with the unparalleled skill, care, and attention to detail that would have been applied in their full-size counterparts.
Beyond majestic at twenty-eight inches tall, this François Gaultier fashion lady will instantly rule the doll room. Featuring a perfect bisque shoulder plate and swivel head, this fine doll’s bisque is truly amazing – it glows. Lending even more personality are her expressive spiral threaded eyes in a pleasing shade of pale blue/gray, and her original mohair wig is beautifully styled incorporating beautiful braids that are gracefully pulled back.
The classic, gusseted, leather body is quite sturdy and clean, but does bear minor scattered patching.
Is it us, or does this lady appear to be smiling? Just maybe, her smile is there because of the wonderful walking suit she is wearing! The palette of the ensemble is elegant with components that include taupe silk, and a dusty gray/lavender that bears chocolate brown stripes. A fabulous straw chapeau ties the look all together – beautifully.
“Young lass Harriet Denton, originally of Doncaster, West Yorkshire, called her six and one-half inch tall wooden doll “Sara”. We take great pleasure in introducing her to you here.
Sara was treasured for several generations, and that will certainly continue – as you will soon discover, there is much to love.
A German Grodner Tal wooden, circa 1830, with wonderful paint upon her face and wooden articulated body, Sara retains her worldly possessions, and they are all housed in her painted wooden wardrobe. The entire contents is listed below, but the highlights include the gorgeous Empire-waist cotton gown she is attired in here, which bears Sara’s full name in ink upon the hem, plus a gown in deep plum silk complete with a matching fringed shawl (and coordinating bonnet).
Also included is a very pretty printed cotton frock that features a ruffled tiered skirt, also with her full name in ink upon the hem, plus a wonderful iridescent silk cloak complete with Sara’s initials upon the interior.
By the way, Sara is a doll collector – she has three now, but would certainly like more!
It isn’t very often that we can offer an early doll so fresh from its original family.
We consider it a great honor…and a pleasure.”
The complete inventory is as listed:
I demand to have one of these in my life!
“Standing eight and one-half inches tall is a marvelous example of a Ladies Sewing Companion, for which the plans for making one could be found in the popular periodicals of the day. Circa 1865, details include a very pretty parian shoulderhead with nicely modeled blonde hair, a black-painted hairband and beautifully painted features. On a cloth body that is fitted with bisque limbs including flat feet that wear black slippers, she is handsomely costumed in a crisp lawn blouse and a red wool skirt. The skirt features delicate black feather stitching that is studded with cut steel beads, and do not miss the shaped pocket in front that was obviously designed to house a folder of sewing needles. A black leather holster which contains a pair of bird beak scissors is hung from her waist, while a blue silk sash punctuates the ensemble. Matching blue silk ribbon was used on the Scottish style black leather tam that she wears upon her head.
Interestingly, items such as this were offered at American Sanitary Fairs in the years of the Civil War as souvenirs, the proceeds from which would be used to do charitable deeds for the soldiers. We are sure, that if this companion could speak, she would have quite a tale to share.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a distinctive treasure like this Sleeping Beauty in a brilliant Dresden-paper trimmed glass case!
Dating circa 1870, the origins of this piece are shrouded in mystery, so we can only do our best to put its singular wonder into words.
The focal point of this creation is a tiny German parian head Princess lying upon a bed – her head resting on a lace-trimmed pillow. We can tell you that Sleeping Beauty is an entire doll, measuring about four inches long (on a cloth body with painted flat feet), and the shoulderhead itself features molded blonde hair with long floss tresses attached, plus painted blue eyes and rosy cheeks. Her clothing consists of a once-bright pink robe that has faded to soft pink, worn over a lace and Dresden paper edged gown of metallic gold threads. She wears a strand of pearl beads around her neck and a Dresden paper crown upon her head.
Four paper flower pots stand guard at each corner of her bed, while two floral bowers extend the length of her paper-covered platform.
The glass case itself is an engineering feat, composed of nine panels that were first edged in cotton, then joined together with various fancy papers.
Slumbering away in the safely and sanctity of her glass home, Sleeping Beauty will continue to do so, undisturbed, for centuries to come.
“For every thousand peddlers we offer, we may find one of these — an elegant lady watching over a stand at a Charity Bazaar. This amazing assemblage was intended to represent one of the British upper crust offering up time and services for charity.
During the Civil War years, bazaars, also known as Sanitary Fairs, were very popular events. Staged to raise money for the disadvantaged, fine and upstanding ladies in the community would sell wares to benefit that noble cause.
An object of “parlor art” shown here is a Tuck Comb Wooden from the Grodner Tal, who represents one of those fine ladies of high society. On an articulated wooden body, and dressed in colorful silk brocade with lovely silk ribbon and lace accents upon her magnificent bonnet, she minds her stand with confidence – as she has quite lovely offerings.
One can choose from as assortment of her handmade items that include books, assorted boxes including an artist’s paint box, fabric goods, two dollhouses, a wooden doll, plus fine ladies’ household and toilette articles. She would be ever so pleased to make a sale…to you.
The elegant lady stands 9” tall overall, while her stand measures:
8 -1/2” wide by 7” tall by 3” deep.
Because we have a very similar early doll in our own collection, we confidently attribute this doll to François Gaultier, commissioned for the fine boutique Maison Guillard. Details of this child-like, seventeen and one-half inch tall young lady, who retains her original enfantine trousseau, include a perfect pale bisque head and shoulderplate that are attached with a cup and saucer rotation mechanism, glass eyes in an unusual shade and a wonderful long blonde mohair wig.
On a very clean kid over wood body, this example is fitted with long bisque arms with nicely modeled fingers (hairlines to left arm), plus there is articulation at the knees.
The doll’s trousseau features several articles of clothing in the Huret style, including a wonderful bathing costume, and the play ensemble she is shown wearing here is absolutely delightful!
A very lucky child indeed, she will arrive with a marvelous trunk – home to her trousseau and wonderful accessories.
A Good Polychromed Wood Mannequin Head and Torso, 18th century, the female form with glass eyes and long blonde curled tresses, wearing antique stomacher.