Make Your Paper Dolls Parisian Easter Bonnets

La recreation des demoiselles. Paris: H. Jannin for H. Rousseau, ca. 1852. Cotsen Toys unprocessed 6186008.

Is there anything as stylish as a French doll?  Cotsen has a very elegant kit from mid-nineteenth-century Paris for making paper dolls and wardrobes of undergarments, dresses, hats, and coats.  Above is the box lid and the designer of the pictorial title label has, of course, shown Maman and her two daughters absorbed in the activity of making paper dolls from this very object.     Here is the inside of the box.

The large center compartment holds different kinds of colored papers.  Finished hats are in the upper right hand corner and bits of tinseled ribbon in the upper left.  Dolls are in the rectangular compartments on the sides.  Because of all the evidence that the kit was used, it is probably missing original materials that the publisher included.  Perhaps new colored papers were supplied as the little girls consumed the nicest ones dressing the dolls.

 

 

 

Simple patterns were printed on this sheet above the lithographed text.  The  only skills required were cutting along the outlines, including the circle for the doll’s neck, and folding in half at the shoulders.

 

 

Not so!   This sheet shows that the little girls were expected to transfer the outline of the pattern onto the fabric with pin pricks, which is much more economical than cutting them out and throwing them away.  This way patterns can be used over and over again.

Three dolls modelling white dresses, perhaps underclothes.The shift for the youngest girl (number 3) is completely without any decoration, while the knee-length one (number 2) has trim on the hem of the sleeves and the neckline.  The garment with the elbow flounces hovering just above the tops of number 3’s boots might be a dress.

Wrong again!  The doll in the lower right hand corner is clearly wearing number 3  with all the lace trim under her blue skirt and white jacket with something that looks like a peplum.  the jacket is number 3 on the sheet of pricked patterns. The doll above her has garments created from textured papers in pink and green.  The doll to the left is dressed in active wear, suitable for rolling her hoop.

Some unfinished finery underneath the paper samples in the central compartment.

Big brother inspects the ladies’ handiwork and seems to find the results attractive. His approval of their good taste selecting silhouettes, combinations of colors, and “fabrics” is probably critical, as they are playing at living, learning how to make themselves attractive to future suitors!

This kit is another example of the fine lithography of the H. Jannin firm, which has been highlighted in a post on Noah’s ark toys and a jigsaw puzzle  of fashionable fruits and vegetables in Cotsen.  Jannin also made fans and panoramas, and, of course, illustrated books of all kinds for children.

Dream Drives for Daytripping

Cotsen 22849

An elegant, low-slung coach drawn by a matched pair of stylish young gentlemen for an afternoon ride through the park?  This enormous plate (24 x 29 cm.) comes from Les enfans parisiens: Jeux, exercice et amusements (Paris: Aubert & cie, ca. 1850].

Cotsen 34396

If you have to have fresh air no matter what the weather, this is the sleigh for you.  Graf Franz von Pocci designed this sleek, minimal vehicle for an illustration to a poem in his Lustige gesellschaft: Bilderbuch von Fr. Pocci (Munich: Braun & Schneider, 1867).

Cotsen 52644

Something with more power?  These simian charioteers were dreamed up by Jacobus Wilhelmus Adrianus Hilverdink for Jan Schnkman’s Het nieuwe apenspel (Amsterdam: G. Theodore Bom, 1862).

Cotsen 15288

There’s always the reliable old bicycle.  It’s not fast or flashy, but it can take you where you want to go.  Florence Upton drew this image of a little girl polishing up her big brother’s bike for her mother’s Little Hearts (London, Manchester, New York: George Routledge and Sons, Limited, 1897), several years before she scored an enormous hit with the Golliwog series.

All these pictures of vehicles were chosen to illustrate the theme of transportation in the nineteenth-century volumes of the Cotsen catalogue.