Rare wonderful papier-mache doll, so-called "Desiree Clary", has a breast plate made of papier-mache, deep angular-shaped breast plate, nice modelled features, detailed painted, blue painted eyes, slightly smiling red mouth, good modelled detached ears, black painted strongly modelled hair in Desiree Clary style : on forehead always 4 curls up to the the ears, multi-row brushstroke, short middle parting, high hairstyle made of 9 small plaits held together with a plaited hairband, high hairstyle, like a high comb, curved brushstrokes surround the face, bulging stuffed hand-sewed immovable body made of white kid leather, forearms and hands with single stick-out thumb made of carved wood, lower leg and feet are made of carved wood.
Good condition to age, beautiful original clothes (the silk is fragile because age).
17 in (44 cm) tall.
Germany, c. 1831.
The daughter of a rich Marseillais merchant, Desiree was initially courted by Joseph Bonaparte who – intent on marrying into money – chose instead to focus his attention on her sister, Julie. With Joseph acting as an intermediary, Desiree was presented to Napoleon, to whom she became engaged on 21 April 1795. Shortly afterwards, Napoleon arrived in Paris, and with the indecisive Desiree reluctant to join him in the capital, it was there that the French general met Josephine. Despite breaking off the engagement, he maintained a special devotion to his first love for the rest of his life.
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Very Rare Early Antique German Papier-mache doll, so-called Desiree Clary, c. 1831.