THESE SEASIDE FISHER PEOPLE...were a cottage industry for the small and not so small coastal towns and villages of Northern France. They provided an occupation during the winter season and commerce during the spring and summer. Made around 1890 to 1900 they are fashioned from terra-cotta much like the Neapolitan creche figures of Italy. Like them, the heads are cast and painted with great care and detail. Not cookie cutter dolls, the facial expressions are intricate and very expressive. Their hair is then glazed for extra facial dimension. She, rather attractive, has intaglio eyes with heavy lids as well pierced nostrils. Meanwhile, his face is replete with all the craggy lines and creases expected on a man who works the sea. Each face is personalized, one with stalwart pride in his work and the other with unassuming confidence.
OCCUPATIONAL FASHION DOLLS...such as these are only as fascinating as their costumes are interesting and this pair is All Original and well preserved right down to the pipe in his mouth. Her Headdress was a labor intensive source of great pride to Provincial women in those days. It still has the original pleats….as wells her original Glass Earrings.
This couple gives us an idea of the daily work assigned to each of their roles. Their life and times unfolds before us. He, ashore from a day at sea is untangling the gear he uses there. She carries a lidded basket in which to contain the catch…or perhaps tonight's supper.
FOR THOSE WHO LOVE LOBSTER…do not overlook the clever detail carried over her left shoulder.
She caries a terra-cotta ‘wicker’ basket with a detachable ‘wooden’ lid. It has a molded lobster design
on the lid! This aspect Is in keeping with all the other details of these dolls including the flesh colored limbs contrasted with the more sun weathered complexions of long days at the sea and on the shores of Northern France.
These dolls have a relationship to one another. They are a team…a couple. Spend just a little time with them and you will feel as if you know them well yourself. Maybe they will invite you home to supper.
An 11.5” French Seaside Couple complete with ACCESSORIES and HEADWEAR
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