Occasionally, our work shop has the pleasure of handling a doll that is SO RARE, we simply all crowd around her in awe when she first comes out of her packaging. That was certainly the story of this doll. A once in a lifetime lady, I cannot find ANY other papier mache lady anywhere of this body type and flawless quality. She is an heirloom piece that simply will not be here long due to her incredible, singular rarity. If I owned a museum, I would never let go of this girl.
*Yes she is available on layaway! Give us a call anytime at 718-859-0901 to hear an in hand description of her condition, or to discuss layaway terms!*
She has an incredible papier-mache plate with molded bosom, slender neck, lovely lady's head with delicate modeling and fine features denoting a noble woman of the French upper class, almond shaped eyes with inset brown glass eyes, thin, multi stroke painted brows and finely painted upper and lower lashes, slender nose with pierced nostrils, open mouth with two upper and two lower square cut bamboo teeth; (open mouth dolls with teeth are the more desirable version of these rare papier-mache dolls as they were much more labor intensive to create). As with most dolls of this type, she has a painted black crown with delicate side brush strokes indicating hair, but additionally she wears her original black mohair wig fashioned in elaborately coiled multiple fine braids, festooned with silk flowers. The original wig is attached via a slit in her upper front crown.
Her original kidskin body of the finest quality produced with individual wired fingers and stitch indicated toes, shapely form with corset shaped torso, large derriere and long slender limbs representing the ideal figure of that period. There are some patches and there has been settling of the cork stuffing over the 170 of her life, so she now remains in a seated position. There are methods of removing some of the stuffing and redistributing the stuffing to a higher location and straightening out the body--the kid is still sturdy and supple and I believe this can be done by an experienced restorer. But I am selling her with a lovely chair so that she may continue to sit. She would make a marvelous addition to any museum display of dolls from this period.
Her antique costume is not original but exquisitely manufactured by a skilled couturier probably in the early 1900s. It is made of purple silk, now faded to a bronze with age, fully lined and in two pieces with a stunning antique lace collar exhibiting very fine hand embroidery, antique black casement buttons with black velvet covers, a black velvet ribbon tie at the collar, four layers of superb antique cotton undergarments with lace and embroidery , long black stockings and antique red leather slippers with jet bead rosettes.
Her wooden chair of unknown age with carved sections has had some glue repairs but suits her well.
Condition: Excellent. She is in really wonderful shape for her age. No cracks, chips or restoration. The body is in the condition discussed above; some patches and settling, with typical overall agewear. Minor touch up to her lips. Let us not forget this beautiful doll is over 170 years old! I can only hope I'd look as good as she does if I made it to that age!
An extremely rare girl that simply transcends the every day doll buying search. She's an incredible beauty that will capture you for the rest of your life. If you are looking for an investment piece, look no further; this is the doll.