If you'd like to see an amazing amount of pictures of beautiful 19th century dolls Theriaults.com has a wonderful Ensemble The Hanne Büktas Collection of French Poupées, Their Trousseaux, Accessories, Furnishings, and Related Dolls issue on Issuu.com.
I just loved the dolls and their wardrobes on Page 20 + 21, Page 30 + 31, Page 42 + 43, Page 44 + 45, Page 88 + 89, Page 78 + 79, Page 82, and Page 109. Check it out. You won't be disappointed. The dolls and their wardrobes are just exquisite.
So, I decided I wanted to know more and see more pictures of antique dolls and their elaborate wardrobes. Here's what I found and some I'd love to see:
The beautiful German Tuck Comb Wooden Doll and Wardrobe, shown in the picture above, is from the Carmel Doll Shop website. If you would like to read more about this amazing doll and her wardrobe please click here.
I would love to see this doll and all her hand stitched gowns. Wouldn't you?
The "Penelope" English Poured Wax and Wardrobe Doll, shown in the picture above, is also from the Carmel Doll Shop website. If you would like to read more about this amazing doll and her wardrobe please click here.
The beautiful "Madeline" French Papier-Mache Doll and Wardrobe, shown in the picture above, is also from the Carmel Doll Shop website. If you would like to read more about this amazing doll and her wardrobe please click here.
The dolls and especially their clothes are just beautiful. I had to know more about the history of "fashion dolls"or "poupees" and their wardrobes. Here's what I found out:
"Fashion Dolls" were aptly named as they had a real purpose: to show the latest fashions and accessories to those who could afford such luxuries. They were educational tools to teach young "ladies" proper dress for each occasion including accessories.
In the 14th century European dolls were gifts to royalty and displayed the latest in fashion. The concept started in 1391 with Robert de Varennes, the tailor for Charles VI of France who sent wardrobe ideas on a life-size "fashion doll" from Queen Isabeau of Bavaria to Queen Anne of Bohemia, the wife of Richard II of England. In 1496 Queen Anne of Brittany ordered a life-size fashion doll for Queen Isabella the Catholic of Spain.
In 1600 when Henry IV was to marry Marie de Medici he sent her several life-size dolls with French fashions as a means to impress her.
In the 17th century affluent ladies had two pairs of dolls with fashionable attire: one dressed for court and one dressed for day wear. Louis XIV (1638 - 1715) of France wanted to show off Paris fashions so he started sending life-size fashion dolls to all the royal courts in Europe. The ladies of the Court would then have their dressmaker make up the designs they liked including hats, shoes, and accessories.
Affluent ladies had the clothes and accessories copied for their dolls. The dolls became known as "Pandora's." The "Pandora's" wore extravagant clothing including: dresses, hats, shoes, elaborate hairstyles, and lavish accessories. The "Pandora Fashion Dolls" were sent from French fashion houses to England, Spain, Germany, and Italy.
It is interesting to note that even though a war may have been going on the "fashion dolls" were granted special passage (i.e. immunity) and not harmed.
In the 18th century when European travel became easier fashion dolls were shipped abroad to display the latest fashions from Paris. In 1780 Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793), who became the leader of fashion worldwide, sent porcelain, wax, and wood "fashion dolls" to her family in Austria. Whenever she appeared in a new outfit her "ladies" would make miniature versions of her outfit to be sent to all the courts of Europe.
The flourishing of continental courts created a greater demand for the Pandora's" as a means for ladies of the court to be informed on the latest fashions.
In the 19th century doll clothes became an important industry in both France and America. Fashion dolls were used specifically for displaying the latest in children's attire and became very popular. Little "ladies" wanted their dollies to have trousseaus and expected their mother's and grandmothers to make them for them. French fashion dolls remained popular between 1850 - 1880 amongst children of the wealthy. Children of privilege had lady "fashion dolls" made of papier-mache, china and bisque that had elaborate wardrobes and accessories.
In the beginning of the 19th century fashion plates were introduced that created printed images of fashions allowing them to replace fashion dolls and their wardrobes as a means of disseminating information on proper fashion attire. Various publications "ladies magazines" arose containing fashion illustrations and "paper dolls" with wardrobes to disseminate this information from France to England and America.
The fashion doll doll was no longer needed as a fashion promotion piece and eventually became a much sought after collectors piece. After all how could you not appreciate the beauty of the doll and ALL THOSE GORGEOUS CLOTHES!