Take a moment to step back in time as you look at the ethereal image before you. We are in Paris, snow is beginning to tickle the tops of trees and the daily post has just arrived; the Au Petit St. Thomas gift catalogue is tucked in with the letters and Christmas party invitations. A young girl has just returned home from Le Lycee and, when Maman isn't looking; she sneaks a peek into the catalogue. Flipping open to a random page, she finds an ad for the Bebe Jumeau- and a most beautiful doll stares up at her from the line drawing on the page. Maman spies her little angel staring longingly at the Bebe Jumeau, but her lips are sealed. Three weeks later, a box awaits Mademoiselle under the Christmas tree. It is a large box, of sturdy cardboard, covered in parchment paper. A bit perplexed as to what might await her in so large a box, the girl peels open the wrapping paper. Her excitement mounts as she sees the words "Bebe Jumeau" in golden letters across the bottom, she tosses the lid off of the box and finds this doll within...
Behold- the ultimate Bebe Triste. I truly believe that she is the most perfect Jumeau doll made, probably in the 1878-79 pocket of production, one of the very first examples. The Triste is known far and wide as the ultimate Bebe Jumeau that a collector can aspire to own, but we know that this particular model will be gone in a flash because she is, for lack of a better word, a magical doll. Look at those eyes. We could simply get lost in their oceanic realness, in her dewy complexion... That deliciously lacy antique white dress, simply a cut above the rest.. I am doing a terrible job of describing her beauty, just as my camera was completely unable to do her delicate presence justice. This treasure of treasures is a joy to have and to hold. I know that we will never have another one as beautiful as this.
A bit of history; When Emile-Louis Jumeau decided to innovate another model of his Bebe after the Premiere and Portrait models, he commissioned the French sculptor, Carrier-Belleuse to complete the mold for this new doll. When Jumeau saw the model to completion, he was so very smitten with it that he decided to give the doll the name the Bebe Jumeau. Fascinatingly, this was the only doll to ever actually acquire the title of 'Bebe Jumeau.' This particular model is one of the earliest examples of the Triste, as indicated by her attached ball body with the Medaille D'Or stamp, and her fixed wrists. She exhibits the extremely soft impressionistic painting of features found on these first Bebe Jumeaux; but above all, she has the dreamiest eyes that appear to be lost in reverie. These early paperweight "human-like" eyes were invented for this model, and I think we can all agree that Jumeau was the master of paperweight eyes- no other bebe can possess such soulful and sincere eyes. For the collector interested in creating a chronology of French bebes, this particular example will make a stellar addition as a very early Jumeau in a hard to find large size that was seldom produced before 1878, and only a handful with these super rare bodies exist. I am so fortunate to offer her for sale; you can be assured that if I did not have to sell her, I would keep her in my cabinet for the rest of my days.
~Mademoiselle is available on layaway! Take up to a year to pay for this outstanding doll. I know that we just won't see another like this again anytime soon, so act fast before she is swept away; every other Triste I have offered for sale has sold within a month of being brought to the Market, and we are sure that this Mademoiselle will follow in their footsteps! Feel free to give us a call at 718.859.0901 to discuss her impeccable condition, or to ask about layaway terms. You can also send us an email! ~
She has a pressed bisque socket head on a fully jointed early Jumeau body with straight wrists and attached hip, shoulder and elbow balls. Her beautiful face has large and dreamy brown paperweight eyes with painted upper and lower lashes, delicate painting of the multi stroke and feathered brows as well as the fine, evenly spaced lashes, closed mouth with shading and accents and super pale coloring, applied pierced ears with antique coral glass bead and faux pearl earrings, fine quality French strawberry blond wig with original multitudinous corkscrew curls and with a cork pate (somewhat large for her).
Wearing a wonderful antique white cotton dress with insertion hand fashioned rickrack lace, dropped waist, antique full slip and matching pantaloons. Her hand crocheted socks reach all the way up to her thighs and she wears antique French black leather shoes with brown silk rosettes. On her head is a wonderful antique lace bonnet with stiffened lace and ruffled brim. She is simply divine!
CONDITION: Excellent. This gorgeous head has wonderful powdery bisque, pale color, expert painting of delicate features, crisp modeling of very sweet and dreamy face. Cheeks are subtly blushed with gentle impressionistic painting indicative of the very first models of this elusive French bebe. There are two minor darkenings of the mold lines along the sides of the head (see photos). The original body is in very good condition with its original finish, but with some areas of repair and repaint at the joints and some fingertips. This exquisite French girl is so memorable with her fragile look of bitter- sweet childhood innocence!
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