WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE…Hearing the word Jumeau one automatically conjures the image of a luxurious Bébé swaddled in the couture of fine silks topped by a stylish wire brimmed chapeau and standing on the soles of signed shoes in gold lettering. Dreaming on, she will have an arm-band on her sleeve declaring her to be a ‘Bebe Jumeau’. Then, when you open your eyes -the doll of which dreams are made -is pictured right before you on the screen your computer.
Such is the case of this mid-1880’s Bebe Jumeau except that beyond all the above, she is also a desirable 'Size 3’ Tete in the diminutive 12” size. It is more than likely that this bebe stood in one of the glass vitrines that populated the finest of doll shops in 1880’s Paris, London, Rome or wherever only the best of dolls were available. At this point in time she is in such a vitrine here in New York City…Where will she next call home ?
A GILDED BÉBÉ OF THE GOLDEN AGE…The Arm-Band Jumeau is an extremely rare event. Because a Jumeau label appeared on many a chemise of the popular priced Jumeaux those can still be had today. The Arm-Band however was reserved only for the most select Bebes that Maison Jumeau offered. These occurred in relatively small quantities. Of those, how few have survived ?
HIS HEART ON HER SLEEVE… The appearance of the elegant maroon, Jumeau gold lettered arm-band on his wife’s beautifully coutured dolls signaled a shift in the business model for Maison Jumeau. To this point, the firm had been actively wholesaling to other retailers. With the achievement of the Medaille d’Or in 1878 Jumeau put the focus publicly on his own work. The arm-band on his dolls was a open declaration of his own brand in the market place. It boldly married his name to Ernestine’s brilliant, meticulous and above all luxurious designs which were already the talk of Paris. This confection originating in the magical workshop of Ernestine Jumeau herself was sent out to carry the message that there was no finer dressed bebe than a Bébé Jumeau.
FROM TIP TO TINY TOE…It was not only luxury but style that Ernestine was creating as evidenced in this special example. This doll's lighthearted ‘esprit’ is a novel departure from the conventional use of maroon and gold ensembles . The lightness of her color tones imparts a youthful aspect that happens to be commensurate with her diminutive size. And what a prize she is ! Her mint mohair wig hangs literally to the small of her back and beyond. Her bisque is a delightful hue with a pretty paleness of blush highlighted by her Pink Factory Earrings. She has sweet caramel colored Paper Weight Eyes beneath the same matching color eyebrows in a long graceful arc. Her ensemble is a pastoral excursion into gentle earth tones of a bronzed green with a rosy faded pink silk elaboration in lavish gatherings at the shoulders…with a galant pleated sash tied saucily over one hip - fringed tassels and all ! Her under layers are a show in itself. To lift her hem is to see a full slip with numerous tiny pleats trimmed in lace below which pokes all-in-one pantalettes with the same treatment. Against all odds she still retains her wire brimmed chapeau. Its is signed ‘3’ within the crown as is her head. This topper is a sweet delicate affair with golden silk pleats which were designed to match her still partially golden shoes. These exhibition shoes are also signed in gold lettering on their soles.
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CONDITION: Remarkable Condition….Head has no damage or repairs. The cork pate has never been removed however all the bisque surrounding it is visible and perfect. The original signed body has the original paint and finish. Her wig is mint and uncut. Some of the wire frame of the bonnet has escaped its silk. There are some distressed pleats behind the chiffon ‘plume’ on her brim. The two ostrich plumes in back are as found. The gold toned shoes have lost some of the silk covering but are completely stable and buttoned with both soles intact. The stocking are also original and still hold their shape. The dress is in remarkable condition. Some lace decoration in the center panel is lacking..with some loose lace edging at cuffs. The underwear is mint. Her full slip is a button back and her all-in-one has 2 sets of ties…one of which cinches at the small of the back. She still wears her original earrings.
MARKS: head - in red ink; Depose // Tete JUmeau // Bte SGDG // 3
Artist marks ‘H 11 ‘
body - in blue ink; Medaille d’Or Paris
chapeau - stamped ‘3’ in black ink as per the size number of her head.
clothes - the arm-band reads ingold -' Bebe Jumeau ‘
A Deluxe 12” FACTORY ORIGINAL Size 3 RARE ‘Arm-Band‘ Jumeau with Chapeau and Gold Letter Shoes