Lily Auguste

This is my new doll. I took some photos with my phone so I could show her to you. I’ll take better photos and share more details about her soon.

My blog is read by “doll people” and some friends and family who just read it anyway. The non-doll people often ask me why I choose a particular doll, especially when it’s an expensive one. I’d like to explain why this doll excites me.

1. She is a French doll.  She is beautiful. 

2. She is a whopping 29” (74 cm) tall. That is a rare size for this type of doll, most dolls like this are under 20” tall. The seller suggested that she was created to be displayed at an exhibition. I think that’s possible or maybe she was used in a store or shop window display. But from the wear on her body, it looks like she was played with at some point. 

3. She doesn’t have any clothes. She needs clothes. Think blank canvas.

I’ve come to the conclusion that sewing tiny is overrated. Hopefully sewing on this scale will be less challenging and more fun. 

4. She is 150 years old. She dates from the late 1860’s or early 1870’s. I love the fashions of that era and am looking forward to designing and creating a wardrobe for her. She can be dressed as a child or a young adult. 

It is always a weird feeling to open the shipping box to reveal a “new” doll and see the evidence of age. We are so programmed to expect perfect, shiny and new that signs of age and wear are a bit jarring at first. But upon further inspection, I appreciate how well she has weathered 150 years and love imagining who has cared for her for so long. 

5. Her porcelain bisque head is perfect. Her painting is crisp and artistically done.  There are many scuffs in the paint on her shapely body. Her toes are a bit worn down and I can’t seem to figure out why. I don’t imagine that she was dragged around by a child, considering her size. 

6. Her body is wood and very posable. That was a big selling feature for me. The bodies of many dolls of this period are fragile and difficult to dress. This doll can be dressed and redressed over and over without harm. 

And yes I named her. I’ve never done that before with a doll. But I have my reasons. 

Lily: She reminds me of the Lily dolls sold by Madame Lavallee-Peronne and promoted in her magazine for girls, La Poupee Modele, starting in 1863. The magazine featured many costume patterns for the doll. Lily dolls are iconic and an entire industry grew around them in Paris at the time. Think Barbie, only 100 years earlier. 

Lily dolls came with different but similar heads, blue eyes, blonde curls and an articulated wooden body. But Lily was only around 17 1/2” (45 cm) tall. 

So when I saw her my first thought was “Lily”, only bigger.

Auguste: Merriam-Webster defines August as “marked by majestic dignity or grandeur.” She’s got that in spades.  Auguste is French for August.  

I’d thought about calling her giant Lily or Lily Grande (like Ariana). But Auguste seems classier.

Definitely a mojo doll.


Lily Auguste — 15 Comments

  1. Hello!
    She is absolutely beautiful! I really enjoy it when I see a doll I haven’t seen before. Her size is awsome too! She will have such a presence in your collection! I’m usually a cabinet size doll person, but you are so lucky with this beauty! As far as clothes, take your time and watch ebay, etc., because I have seen some wonderful french fashion doll dresses show up every once in a while in her size. Part of the fun is the hunt for that special item.
    Theresa Myers

  2. She is wonderful ! Just think about all the detail you can have with her clothing ! Shoes will be so much easier to do than for the 12” for instance ! & Jewerly ! I’m tired of sewing for 12” though regrettably , I still have some kits to do . Planning to concentrate more on Chiffonette because she is almost 18” , but long for a bigger one & love it that yours has a wooden body . Can’t wait to see the wardrobe you create for your Lily !

  3. She is amazing! I hope you have a lot of fun with her. The name suits her. Congratulations!!!

  4. What a gorgeous face and body! Lily Auguste will be an absolute joy to costume. 29″ tall, the size of a toddler child. Mind boggling frills, details galore. You will be eternally busy.

  5. Gorgeous doll and lovely size to sew for. She reminds me of my 22″ Jumeau Portrait – another honey.

  6. She is so lovely, I only wish I could have such a beauty in my collection, and with a wooden body…so jealous! Lucky you!!!

  7. Her face is so beautiful. Big girls can be so much fun. I can’t wait to see what fashions you create for her!

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  9. Stunning doll. Look forward to seeing your progress. I also love to sew for my dolls.

  10. She is a really beautiful doll! Does she have any markings? I can’t wait to see what you design for her.

  11. She’s beautiful! Would that we could look that good at 150 years of age!!!!
    She does have a majestic countenance, I think she’ll expect a grand wardrobe soon.

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