Wonderful palest bisque head and bulging glass eyes indicate that this doll is an early example from the 1880's, possibly as early as 1885. She has a perfect, solid bisque dome head and shoulder plate with an original blonde wig which is a little sparse in the back. There is no identifying mark on her head, and she stands about 14 1/2" inches tall. Her head is slightly turned towards her left shoulder. She has lovely bisque and fine quality of decoration. I especially love her mouth with the deeply modeled philtrum and the high, rounded peaks of her bowed upper lip. She has blonde feathered brows and the most delicately painted lashes. Pale rose cheek blush, eye dots, and nose dots. One kiln speck above her left eyebrow.
She has a sturdy, all kid leather fashion type body with a small waist and well padded rump. There is no leaking and what I can see of it looks very nice. I have only carefully removed her walking suit once, several years ago, to check for a mark on the shoulder plate, and have never removed her under clothes, shoes or socks. Her body was very sound at that time. There was no mark on her plate.
Her two piece, turquoise silk walking suit is beautifully sewn with the tiniest stitching, both machine and hand. It consists of a long jacket that opens at the waist to reveal a matching full skirt trimmed in a pleated ruffle. The jacket closes with 7 silver metal buttons. It has a lace collar and velvet cuffs. The silk on the jacket is shattering, mainly in the front. The back of the jacket is beautifully draped and caught up into a self-bustle, which is trimmed with lovely rows of lace, which continues down the back of the skirt. The silk skirt ruffles peek out from underneath this fall of lace. The lace is very fragile and is tearing. I spotted the identical (in every way) outfit on another seller's site on a Jumeau fashion, and the seller said the outfit was from Maison Jumeau. It is well known that the French doll producers bought heads from German factories-notably Simon Halbig-so perhaps this was a Jumeau product.
She has a gorgeous matching underwear set of pantaloons, chemise, and two slips, all trimmed in matching lace. These appear to be in great condition. Beautiful, ornately knit stockings and fragile old ankle strap shoes (leather patch on back of left shoe) complete her original ensemble. The shoes are very stiff and have holes at the front. I can see a little of the backing and they are some kind of canvas cloth or oil cloth. I have never dared remove them for fear of destroying them. One toe ornament is a little different than the other, so one must be replaced.
I have added a fabulous custom made hat (from Cherie's Petite Boutique here on Ruby Lane) made from old materials.
She will come with the First Place Blue Ribbon she won at the UFDC Convention in 1997. Because of the fragile nature of her costume, l may decide to remove her suit and package it separately to decrease friction on it during shipping. Of course, the buyer will have the final word on the packing method.