The Danel & Cie doll company was established in Paris and Montreuil-sous-Bois, France in 1889. Danel was also the director of the other famous doll company, Jumeau Doll Company, before he built his own. The company was also a member of the Societe de Fabrication de Bebes & Jouets (S.F.B.J.). However, Danel & Cie’s doll factory was just located across the Jumeau’s factory which became a disadvantage to the former. In 1890, Jumeau sued Danel & Cie for infringement stating that they borrowed some tools and doll molds from their factory. They were also accused of pirating their workers to work for them to continue making the same fine quality dolls with the Danel & Cie Company. In the end, the Jumeau Company won the case.
By 1892, several dolls made by Jumeau started to use the labels “Francais Bebe” and “Paris Bebe” that Danel & Cie originated. Some people thought that Jumeau acquired the Danel & Cie instead but it was later found out in 1899 that the use of the name could have been a part of the settlement which was awarded to Jumeau. Yet, Danel & Cie produced dolls only up until 1895. Nevertheless, it was known for its innovative contribution to the doll industry when it launched elegantly designed and crafted mulatto and black Bebe dolls.
Here are some typical characteristics of the Danel & Cie Dolls:
1) Early Paris Bebe Doll (early 1892) – This look like the Jumeau dolls and were made of bisque socket head, a combination of composition and wood French body, some had straight wrist, paperweight eyes, wig, heavily painted feathered eyebrows, closed mouth, pierced ears, and then marked with “Tete Depose / Paris Bebe”. Some of the dolls also had the mark of the Eiffel Tower on them.
2) Later Paris Bebe (after 1892) – The dolls were characterized by its curved and hooked like nose, bisque socket head, combination of composition and wood French body, paperweight eyes, feathered eyebrows, wig, delicately pursed smiling mouth, pierced ears, and marked with “Tete Depose / Paris Bebe” along with an Eiffel Tower mark for some dolls.
3) Bebe Francais / Ferte of Paris – These dolls were made of bisque socket head, combination of composition and wood French body, paperweight eyes, feathered eyebrows, wig, closed mouth, pierced ears, and then marked with “B (doll size number) F”.
Most of these dolls come in sizes of 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 27, 31, and 33 inches. These exquisite French dolls are highly valued that its prices can range from $4,200 to a whopping $8,500 for a good condition doll in its original dress.
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