If you are a costume collector, enthusiastic about spectacular concoctions of thread, and you have a penchant for dolls, consider this amazing doll seriously. A one of a kind doll, this Parian lady is a singular example of spectacular Victorian theatrical costume- in 1/4 scale! She is a gem. We love her in every way. Most probably produced as a prototype for a theatrical production, or for sale in an opera house gift shop for a pretty penny, this is a very rare example of Victorian reimaginings of 12th or 13th century costume. We think it looks an awful lot like the dress in the preraphaelite painting, 'Farewell' by Edmund Blair Leighton. A singular costume, we know that this doll will be prized in a world class collection.
White bisque shoulderhead on her original home-made cloth body with kidskin hands and cloth feet. Blue molded and painted eyes with single stroke light brown brows, red stroke eyelid line, closed cupid’s bow mouth, rosy cheeks, molded and painted blond hair with center part, upswept sides.
Dressed in the most extraordinary original golden yellow brocade silk gown with train at the back, open Japan sleeves accented with green buttons at the openings which reveal a second interior sleeve with cerise velvet top and fabulous multicolored jacquard floral ribbon base in tan, black raspberry green and blue tones. This ribbon base is followed by a silk lace cuff with applied faux pearls. The center of the skirt also opens to reveal a cerise velvet upper panel, covered at the lower third with a metallic lace horizontal panel with scalloped top, followed by a band of rhinestones, followed by a large band of the same jacquard black floral ribbon at the base of the center skirt. Underneath the dress is a yellow cotton half slip, also with a train and an ecru cotton full slip with hand crocheted lace bottom. She wears long stockings in beige silk knit with yellow silk bow garters with citrine faceted glass beads at the top, with green velvet sewn-on shoes. But that’s not all. Over the green velvet shoes is a metallic lace overlay followed up the front ankle with hand embroidered leaves in metallic thread and three sewn-on faux pearls. And if you think that’s not enough, the kid mitten hands are also embroidered with leaf designs in metallic gold thread and they also have sewn-on pearl accents. The outer yellow silk brocade dress also features emerald green silk buttons on either side and metallic lace overlay for the entire hem of the skirt and train. The upper bodice décolleté of the dress features more of the jacquard ribbon banding edged with bright cerise silk. The backs of the Japan sleeves feature a similar treatment to the front panel of the skirt. Her gold and silver metallic necklace is a later addition. There aren’t enough words to describe the magnificence of this costume. It is a class “A” museum piece that must be preserved for history at all costs! Buy this doll for the costume alone as the costume is more valuable than the doll by herself. But the entire package is simply sublime!
CONDITION: Excellent! Lovely parian is in great condition with minor rubbing to the left cheek. The original body in sturdy, clean condition but not completely inspected due to the fragility of her dress. The dress is in wonderful condition considering its age (I would date this doll at c 1885). Some very minor tears at the bottom/back of the train have been carefully stabilized and the chiffon silk lining of the Japan sleeves has been removed—Otherwise the dress is in superb condition for its age. A very rare find in all original condition.
TBS 11/20/18. RLI-1434
19” German Parian Lady in Original Theatrical Golden Silk Brocade Costume