This unique doll gives me a thrill every time I look at her. Utterly perfect preserved condition, from her wig in the original style. Her jewelry still in place.
The brightness of the silk dress and the original paper label from when she was sold by Au Nain Bleu, the famous luxury toy store in Paris. Known by collectors as a waltzing Parisian or walking fashion, This doll is 15” tall and is valued as a toy and a fashion doll. Made by the Jules Steiner Co., it was one of their most popular novelty’s And was in production for the last half of the 19th century until the demise of the French toy industry in 1899.
A pressed porcelain bisque head on a shoulder plate. Typical Steiner decoration.
Deep, expressive paperweight eyes are framed by evenly painted long eyelashes. Shaded and accented lips. These dolls always have open mouths with tiny teeth to seem like they are smiling. Sometimes this is not the effect at all, but in this case it seems to work, giving her a pleasant look rather than a grimace. The wig is attached to the unique paper mache pate that this company used for their dolls. The lower arms are well modeled porcelain bisque with delicate, separated fingers and painted nail details. The body of these dolls is a paper mache bell shape that holds the waltzing mechanism. When wound up she “ walks “ or waltzes if you prefer, gliding smoothly along raising and lowering her arms and saying something like “Papa”. As I’ve said before this example is in outstanding original condition with perfect bisque, bright and clean with some minor splits in the silk sleeves on the dress and a bit of wear on the bottom commiserate with age and use.
It’s evident that this has been a treasured and exclusive play thing for more than a century and now is ready to delight a whole new generation.