This pair is a wonderful example of the rare antique souvenir dolls from the early 1800s made in
'Batz sur Mer', a little town on the seaside, near Guérande, in the West of France. The clothes are made from shells glued to fabric, a special French method. The woman is on the typical wood stand with sand glued on. Her tiny green wood shoes peek out from under the skirt.
The man is 6 in. tall and the woman 5 in. The bodies are in wood, with arm and leg joints; the heads are papier maché. This pair is in good antique condition. The man’s face has typical craquelure but the woman’s is smooth; no repaint on either. There is minor shell loss on the costumes. The man’s amazing shirt of matched round shells is wonderful. He retains his hat as well. The woman’s skirt is a lovely red shade and in good condition.
These dolls are difficult to find in perfect condition as when the glue dries the tiny shells can fall off. This pair is fragile, but beautiful in display for a rare type of antique doll.
A Pair of Antique French Shell Dolls