This is one of my favorite items. It is made of chalk. The top lifts off the base which is scooped like a dish. I wonder if this is a trinket box? I've also seen these made into an ashtray. This one is marked on the bottom of the top half "Copyrighted, Design in Kraftrok, Rich-Craft Studios Inc., Jamestown, NY"
Sue sent me this photo of her GrePoir and wrote "We know from Coleman's [Coleman's Doll Encyclopedia] that Eugenie Poir of Paris did not appear in the directories but produced the line of dolls under the direction of I. Alvin Grey of New York from 1927-30. We know from tags that appear on the doll she belonged to the group called The French Dollmakers(1925-30 and later) of New York and the Gre-Poir became part of the company. We know so little about this group?French or US made?"
This GrePoir is tagged. What I found interesting is her tag had a handwritten name "Gloria" on it. Was it the manufacturer's name for the doll? Looks that way, but?
This GrePoir needs TLC. Luckily, her head, arms and legs are in good shape. Her torso (not shown) needs repair. Her straw stuffing is exposed.
GrePoir made smokers and musical boudoir dolls. Fantastic!
This smoker is German-made by Steiner or Gerling. I get them confused. Maybe, somebody can let me know which maker it is.
I still have not found any ads to confirm the claim that these dolls, nicknamed by collectors as Cubebs, were used to promote cigarettes, particularly Cubeb cigarettes. I have, however, found evidence that these dolls were used as props in numerous movies. Should they then be renamed "Silver Screen" dolls? I have seen them referred to other names in old ads. I have blogged on this before.
These smokers have composition flanged heads and are referred to by collectors as Anita (after the one doll company Anita Novelty) or Anita-types. The doll on the left is also referred to a a Lobby Doll. Dolls like this have been found with the name of a hotel on their felt collar.
I am not familiar with these figures, however, Lynda sent me these photos and told me "they are mannequin bride dolls or counter-top mannequins used to model wedding dresses in bridal shops in the 1940s."
Always looking for boudoir dolls in film, The 1929 movie "The Broadway Melody" stars Bessie Love and Charles King. In addition to a boudoir doll, Bessie's dressing table has a large carnival prize Cupie Doll-like figure and a half doll powder puff.
I refer to these French boudoir dolls as "Sparkle" dolls (see my previous blog posts from 2009/2010). They have molded hair with sparkles in it, and a molded torso that may have "France" or "Made in France" stamped or embossed in back, along the waist area. Their shoes are part of the leg mold, and the shoes have the same sparkles on them. The arms are strung. The rest is cloth, and it appears their original costumes were made of silk.
Like a lot of boudoir dolls, they get altered sometime during their 85-year existence; some more so than others. There is one of these dolls in the eBay world that has a wig glued on it (say it ain't so!). Her arms were cut at the elbow and cloth replacements were made so now she doesn't have strung arms, her legs look replaced with French legs, but not the kind she normally would have, and her face looks repainted. But, despite this "disguise," her telltale molded torso gave her away! "(Now, go see if you can't find her)........Ha!
This rare and unusual Georgene Averill doll is dressed in Egyptian costume and is tagged! Love it when it's tagged! It is the same type doll listed in Polly Judd's Cloth Dolls book. Shown in the book is an advertisement from 1923 in Playthings magazine. This was all during the rage of anything Egyptian after the King Tut discovery......What's a Tut Pup?
These two French boudoir dolls, made by Aladin, are very rare. They were made during the King Tut discovery in the early 1920's. They both have chamois (suede) faces and are elaborately costumed. The larger doll measures 4 feet! Both are marked "Aladin" (larger doll is marked "Aladin" and "Paris" on her feet and the smaller doll has a tag "Aladin" and "Pharaonne" (Egyptian Queen). Fantastic!
Sue sent me photos of this fantastic suede head doll. Along with these photos, Sue told me"The hands are very similar toLilith hands, long and elegant, but suede.Lilith has composition hands. The most important and interesting thing for me is the metallic braid work on the jacket in that it reflects a time in France when it was used in costuming for theatre and dolls also. I also did the measurement from theLHJ article(Ladies Home Journal) to see if this doll was similar to the dolls referred to. There are a few similarities, the length of doll is 34 inches, arms 14 inches, shoulder to waist is 71/2 inches but the legs, having the same shape, are shorter being only 18 inches?"
"The first three decades of the 20th century was the renaissance of doll making that will never be repeated. Modern 'dollmakers' are still using the early dolls as inspiration. It changed our ideas of what a doll was.The doll as Art.
While, this change may have started in Germany. it was the French that refined the Art doll. I think it was the interaction of the Art culture, theatre,haute couture, painting etc, of France that combined to produce some magnificent dolls.We see this in not only in the construction of the dolls, with the move away from mass production porcelain dolls, but the costumes that they wear. However when we change the costume, we loose part of the doll's history?"
I agree with Sue. If we can save the original costume or salvage what we can and/or recreate a costume as close to the original as possible, we are doing these dolls justice. Unfortunately, I am not a restorer so my contribution is to keep the doll pretty much as I find them.
"Costume from Sleeping Princess, 1921, Leon Baskt. Costume from Parade, 1917, after Pablo Picasso The metallic braid was used on many costumes. (See metallic braiding onBallet Russe costumeand both male boudoir dolls; suede and Rosalinde)"
"Costume of the Chinese conjurer (Ballet Russe). Very similar to costume in the 1923 LHJ article of doll."
This all cloth, silk covered French boudoir doll must have been a stunning doll 80+ years ago because even after 80+ years and a shredded blue gown and missing silk on her face and chest, she remains a work of art.
She has red silk floss hair, hand-painted, dramatic face paint and individually stitched fingers. She only has hints of her blue silk dress, trimmed in rhinestone and lace. Her fancy slip and pantaloons remain and make a good substitute for a dress. I'm not good at identifying fabric, but it's satiny and in good shape, trimmed with gorgeous lace. From the indentations on her feet, I can tell she once wore ankle-strapped shoes. I wonder if the shoe straps were rhinestoned-trimmed? That would have been gorgeous.
Please get permission to use the photos in this blog. Most photos are marked "Courtesy of...." or a link is attached to show the owner. If you do not know who to contact, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can connect you to the appropriate person. Thanks!