Description of Gaultier Doll for Sale
Here I have an interesting example of a French Fashion doll (Poupee) made using a Gaultier bisque head. The doll was made by a French maker using a head they purchased from Gaultier. During this period Gaultier made heads for up to 50 different French doll makers. The doll makers would attach the head to a body they made, add a wig and clothes and sell the doll under their name. Some of these heads were marked for the company commissioning the heads but most had the generic Gaultier marks like this doll.
The doll has a bisque swivel head and shoulder plate and is 21 inches tall. It has set glass eyes. It is wearing an antique dress that is likely original to the doll. Based on the length of the dress it is styled for a young teenager. A Victorian adult woman would never show her ankles in public. The doll has a matronly adult face seen on the classic French Fashion Poupee. During the late 1870's to early 1880's the French doll makers started making the Bebe styled dolls with a child's body and face. This doll is a transition piece using the adult looking Gaultier head on thinner teenage body and a child's dress. The doll was likely made in the early 1880's.
The dress underwear and shoes are antique and are likely original to the doll. The wool fabric is sound. The underwear ( 2 slips, chemise and bloomers) is in good shape with no staining, The dolls leather hands are in very good shape considering their age and she has a ring on one finger. She is wearing very nice vintage earrings. She also has her original mohair wig.
This doll is on a very special body. The body is a narrow hipped teenage body made with pin jointed legs. Kestner advertised this style of kidskin body in 1883 as a premium body for their dolls. This style body was more flexible and more durable than the typical French style gusseted kid bodies (also more expensive). What is special about this body is that it is made from cloth instead of kid leather. The cloth is a tightly woven cotton muslin typically seen in Victorian underwear. The body is expertly sewn and the fabric has yellow age toning that says to me that it is antique and is original to the doll. The body may have been made in cloth to avoid infringing on a patent for leather bodies using this style of joint. During this time period doll makers had dozens of patents and were always suing other makers for infringement.
Head Mark: 5
Body mark: F G
The head and shoulder plate is marked as shown: There are no marks on the body to indicate which French doll maker used this Gaultier head in the production of this doll.
Condition of Doll for Sale
The bisque head and shoulder plate is perfect with no chips, cracks, rubs or repaint. The antique clothes are in good shape with no foxing, stains, rips or repairs. There is some wear to the finish on the original shoes and repairs to the socks. The knee joints have leather straps to limit the motion of the knees. Both of these straps are broken.
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