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23 1/2" Unusual French Paper Mache "Poupee Paris" circa 1820
With a statuesque silhouette and stuffed all kid leather body, this young specimen with paper mache head and shoulders resembles the dolls of the Empire period of France such as the uncomplicated, simple faces of the carton moule genre. Called the "Poupee Paris", her molded braided bun, high on her head, painted side curls, and her pierced ears remind us of the graceful paper mache ladies of early nineteenth century Germany. Her finish retains its original warm patina with only some scattered surface scratches, scuffs and some wear to the end of her nose. Her dream-like 1810 gown of white, diaphanous gauze hangs long from the Empire waist construction, inspired by the fashion style of Josephine Bonaparte. Along with what seems to be original cotton undergarments, she continues to surprise with her antique, red leather slippers that "fit like gloves", hiding beneath. Could she have retained her original shoes all these years? That question is what makes doll collecting the heartwarming and intriguing pastime that it is, as just like this mystery of a doll, it keeps us thinking, searching and learning while we forget about the negative stuff. Therapy!
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