This item from Kathy Libraty's Antiques is now SALE PENDING.
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Extremely Special 17.5" Jules Nicholas Steiner's 'Bebe Gigoteur' Mechanical Baby Doll C. 1885
~As we enter the final week in March, it is time for our third annual Tax Return Sale. First we had papier maches on sale, then china dolls, and now, ladies and gentlemen of the doll world; it is time for the Bisque and Bebe sale of your dreams! From now until April 15th, we will be giving you a very, VERY good opportunity to utilize those tax return dollars with a mark down sale that is TOO BIG for us to do in one sitting, so we will be adding dolls to it in small gasps- starting at the top with our most beloved and extraordinary bebes, down to the sweetest and already affordable German dollies. Come join the doll fun and search Tax Return in our shop to see all the dolls and accessories included in the sale!~
A very special and important piece in the history of antique dolls, this wonderful bebe walks the line between automata and doll as it was a milestone creation patented by Steiner in 1883, and came to the market in 1885. Any collection focusing on French dolls or babies would be very smitten with a Gigoteur as it was perhaps the first bisque head baby doll ever sold commercially in France. It was a rather expensive doll in its day, and would have been the mark of luxury in a child's play room, as the mechanism has three movements- head, arms, and legs (though this example no longer has working legs- in fact, most of them have lost this function.) Truly a gem for the conscientious collector, this doll is priced to sell and will not be here long! I know her new parent will have hours of fun with her.
*Yes, we are offering her on layaway! Take up to eight months to pay for this angel in equal payments and own a true piece of antique doll history. Give us a call anytime at 718.859.0901 to discuss layaway options, or just let us know at checkout that you need time to pay!*
Pressed bisque solid domed head on a mechanical kicking body with composition lower limbs, papier-mache torso and composition arms attached to a molded cardboard or papier-mache torso with fabric covering encasing a patented key-wind movement. When the key is wound, the arms move up and down, the head moves slightly and she makes a crying sound and the legs would move too (however, the legs no longer move- a crafty mechanic could probably make them work again as I can move them with my hands). Lovely rich brown paperweight eyes with very finely painted upper and lower lashes and mauve eye-shadow, delicately feathered brows, open mouth with upper and lower teeth, curly strawberry blond mohair wig.
Dressed in a lovely antique white long baby gown newly constructed from antique fabrics with copious hand embroidery and openwork, insertion lace and blue ribbon, long vintage baby gown with lace trim, cream wool knit socks with blue ribbons and matching ribbons in her hair. with antique lace edging, matching lovely bonnet, antique underwear, pretty aqua leather high button boots. Shown in a wonderful swinging wicker cradle which is no longer available for sale.
CONDITION: Generally Excellent. When the key is wound, the head turns from side to side, both arms move up and down and the legs which should go back and forth are no longer functioning. The bisque head is free of hairlines, cracks, chips or restoration. The bisque is fine and pale with expert painting of the features, subtle coloring and gentle soft modeling of the round baby face. The mechanical body appears to be in sturdy condition with original finish to the composition arms and legs. The papier mache torso is covered with fabric and the upper legs constructed of wooden pieces attached to metallic armatures that are connected to a clockwork mechanism inside the torso. A good clockwork tinkerer could probably reactivate the legs to move. Please view the action of this wonderful French Steiner doll on our Instagram link. Just send us an email for the link to her actions.
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