The C. F. Kling manufacturing company of Germany made this approximately eighteen inch (18") tall, circa 1860s, un-tinted bisque parian doll with a lovely decorated shoulder plate and very deep crisp comb harks in her hair. For many decades this doll was known as Rosa Bonheur, representing the famous French woman artist. Within the last few decades, the doll head has been ascribed as possibly representing a male doll. This doll shoulder head has a center part, which was a typical female hair styling feature, while a side parted hair style indicated most male dolls. We have seen numerous carte de visites, ambrotypes and other photographic images that plainly show young women dressed in gowns with this particular hair style. We have also seen gowns or jumpers for females that would call for such a shirtwaist effect as is found on her shoulders. The speculation continues! Whether this doll was intended as a young man or young lady is a point of interest and discussion, but we have seen the doll dressed as either and our doll has been in our collection for almost 50 years, coming to us in antique clothing that her first owner's family noted was from her original wardrobe. So, Rosa Bonheur she is!
Born in 1822, Rosa Bonheur is widely considered to have been the most famous woman painter of the nineteenth century. Her artistic acumen was in the realistic representation of animals. Her notorious penchant for wearing the clothing of men and living with women is one of her well known characteristics. Yet she has been quoted as saying of her apparel, which was practical to facilitate her work with her animal subjects: "I was forced to recognize that the clothing of my sex was a constant bother. That is why I decided to solicit the authorization to wear men's clothing from the prefect of police. But the suit I wear is my work attire, and nothing else. The epithets of imbeciles have never bothered me...." Rosa Bonheur.
Rosa Bonheur has an antique cloth commercially made body, with original leather arms. Her shoulder head has short molded hair with a center part drawn back smoothly behind her ears. She has crisp blue eyes with white highlights. The shoulder plate has a high necked molded blouse, with china glaze at the collar, with shirring gathers molded at the upper bodice, with blue and gold paint highlighting the details of the elegant flowing bow tie at the throat.
Her original antique clothing, obviously not work attire, but looking like somewhat rumpled rustic at-home attire, consists of a fantastic hand stitched flower sprig printed cream silk/woolen waist/blouse with full sleeves and original round milk glass buttons, wonderful aqua and tan striped knit socks, brown leather seal fur topped slippers, a hand stitched braid trimmed chestnut brown woolen skirt, a replaced lace trimmed petticoat and a plain pair of hand stitched cotton drawers.
The condition of the shoulder head is excellent. There are no chips, hairlines, cracks or repairs. There is a negligible teeny pimple or bump on the right temple area - not damage, but a manufacturing aberration, not noticeable, mentioned for accuracy.
She is ready for proud display and holds her own focus of distinction among the finest of antique dolls.
Any other doll or accessory items used for display are not included in this offering, unless otherwise specified.
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Item ID: P-079
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Antique Dolls, Vintage Native American Jewelry, Antique Fine & Folk Art
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