Monday, February 28, 2011

A is for Annabelle!

Introducing....Annabelle our new resident at the one sixth scale dollhouse! No, my Fashion  Royalty & Silkstone divas haven't moved out. I have always wanted a reproduction french fashion doll such as this one. I have named her Annabelle after Tasha Tudor's book...A is for Annabelle .I believe that Tasha's doll was actually a Lady Jumea. My doll was made by Sylvia Butler, a guilded Doll artisan & member of G.M.D.M. of Tarhill Creations. I met Sylvia at the recent Capital doll club show at the Showplace where I was a dealer this past Saturday on Feb. 26th. She comes to this show alot and I have always lusted after oneof these little ladies! This show I got my wish.
Annabelle is an FG head on a Seeley body, better in my opinion than the Guildebrief body. She has glass eyes and pearl earrings. I plan to start sewing different projects in spare time- what's that? lol to make her a trousseau.
This weekend I started cutting out pieces of muslin for the negligee from a past issue of Gildebrief, to try my hand at sewing for her. Annabelle stook over me nearby and supervised....

I am having loads of fun with her, and want to replicate items from the book as a project, one of my doll yahoo groups talked about how some doll clubs had made items in the book for their french fashion dolls. While she is a little lady, she also has a child like quality to her sculpt which appeals to me a bit, the Francois Gaultier molds have a similar Huret style to them, and Huret is one of my favorites. She has already claimed one of the Bespaq Louis chairs for her own...

Sorry for the bright pics at the end, it was difficult yesterday to get good lighting for these pictures, especially when I took some time out to work on the cutting of the pattern pieces. I think the chair looks stunning next to her, this one is in 1:4 scale but since she is somewhat chunky she looks ok next to it, technically she is about 1:6 scale. These dolls were the original 'Barbie' of the 1840's- 1890's- the creme de la creme of fashion dolls.

For sources on reproduction & antique french fashion dolls, especially the 12 inch ones- here are some useful links which have helped me, a novice and which might start the fever for you to own one of these stunning dolls:

Gildebrief Magazine  - this magazine is produced in English as well as German. You can also buy copies on Ebay, it runs about $18.95 each, but extremely useful and cost effective for patterns for these dolls,
Alice Leverett originals  creator of the 'Ultimate ' fashion doll. Last year in 2010 her Ultimate fashion doll was the UFDC convention doll, and highly prized. She gives workshops all around the country.
Theriault's auction house  known for being an auctioneer of some of the most premiere antique  collections of dolls or dollhouses in the  world. Florence Theriault is one of the leading experts today and gives classes on how to appraise and identify antique dolls
Jackie's Porcelain dolls  Another creator of french fashion dolls, BLuette, Daisy, etc.
Petite Pandore a yahoo group that is devoted to 12inch and larger french fashion dolls. Moderator is Barbara Devilbiss. Lots of useful info from talented collectors and experts on this group- I have learned somuch here!
Dollspart Supply  useful site for wigs, tools, supplies to either create your own French fashion doll or to buy patterns, kits, accessories for these little ladies. Also a great source for the hard to find books on French fashion dolls. Highly recommend.

These are just a few of the well known links, there are others and also other talented artisans out there as well. I reommend from my own experience in doing a bit of research before buying your doll, as she is an investment. If you are a purist, and truly wish to own an antique lady, then auctions are probably your best source.


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