Costume Inspiration

Sometimes aimlessly wandering around the internet reaps rewards, but not often.  One such serendipitous journey led me to The Portrait Timeline website. It features portraits and historical paintings from ancient times to the 1930’s. I first searched the 1600’s and was surprised by this colorful costume on a 2 year old girl, c. 1602. I love this embroidered jacket and skirt from 1617. And what décolletage! Then I moved on … Continue reading

New French Fashion Accessories

The UFDC national convention is next week and I’m sadly not going. With my new, expensive 17th century embroidery obsession, I had to make a choice. I went to my first one in 2000 and have only missed a few since. It is always fun and reassuring to be around so many other people who share my interests. And the shopping is fantastic. Over the years, I have collected French … Continue reading

Antique French Fashion Accessories

Today’s post is all about the pictures. And a few words. I’ve mentioned before that some dolls are collectors. French fashion dolls are notorious for this.  Here are some of the antique accessories my FF’s have collected: Wood, hand-painted fan with orange silk ribbon. Purchased at Paris flea market. I tried to barter, but my shaky french didn’t help. Faux ivory fan with hand-painted silk leaves. Two pairs of doll-sized … Continue reading

Une Petite Fille

This sweet, tiny poupee spoke to me at a doll show, so I had to own her. She stands only 10 1/2″ (26.5 cm) tall. At first glance, I thought that her fine cotton dress was old/original. But the lady who was selling her told me that a friend of hers made the dress. It is a beautiful reproduction and was both machine and hand sewn. One day, though, I … Continue reading

Pondering Provenance

Merriam Webster defines provenance as: “the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.”  As doll collectors, we rarely get to know anything about the provenance of a doll we purchase. We have all been told questionable stories of a doll’s history. How often has a dealer told you that a doll is from his or her “private collection”? But who owns the provenance of … Continue reading

Shoes, Socks and a Pair of Stockings

One day, I’ll show you how to make shoes for your dolls. I know how, but it’s a bit fidgety. In the meantime, let’s look at some doll shoes made by other people. First, here is a pair of antique heeled boots. They are black leather, decorated with buckles and shiny metal buttons. They belong to this lovely lady. She is a German, painted-eye fashion with such a sweet face. Her … Continue reading

My 17th Century Bru Fairy

Meet Mademoiselle Bru. She told me that she wants to dress in 17th century costumes. I think she wants to be a fairy. This is an early 17th century masque costume drawing by Inigo Jones (1573-1652). He was an architect, stage designer and theatrical masque designer. When I got hooked on 17th century embroidery, a good friend asked me how it applied to dolls. My first reaction was, why does … Continue reading

Ah, Huret!

Adelaide Calixte Huret first patented an articulated doll with a porcelain head in 1850 in France. Her doll represented an idealized child, with a dreamy face and a light-weight, hollow gutta percha body. The earliest dolls, like mine, had glazed porcelain heads. Later Hurets were made with unglazed (or bisque) heads. All were 45cm or 17 3/4″ tall. The years from 1850 to 1880 in Paris were the Golden Age … Continue reading

Too Many Dolls

For many years, I collected every doll that caught my fancy. It was intoxicating to see a pretty face or a fine costume and take the plunge. I had so many dolls that it was hard to arrange them all in my doll cabinets. They weren’t the finest dolls, but they were pretty. I have to admit that I had dreams of redressing every one of them. It took a … Continue reading