Francois Gaultier was a reputed doll manufacturer of elegant French bisque dolls along with Bru, Jumeau, and Steiner. Gaultier was also known to have manufactured dolls for several popular doll companies such as Jullien, Rabery & Delphieu, Gresland, Thiller, and Simonne. The company’s doll factory was established in 1860 in St. Maurice and Charenton, Siene, Italy. Gaultier manufactured dolls until 1916. Yet it continued its manufacturing in associated with the Societe Francaise de Fabrication de Bebe and Jouets (SFBJ).
One of Gaultier’s Bebe dolls are harder to find than the Poupee de Modes today. These French Bebe dolls can be distinguished by its delicate painted eyelids and plump cheeks, subtle pale complexion, paperweight eyes with fine black liner, and a slightly opened mouth with outlined lips. However, collectors should be aware that there are several reproductions of these Bebe dolls that are marked with the artist’s name and some with the date it was made. Yet precaution must be observed as some dolls are intentionally marked with F+G even if these were reproductions.
One way of checking real Gaultier dolls is to check the seams on the doll’s kid body. If you will observe a snowy white texture at the seams then it’s probably a reproduction. Original Bebe dolls made by Gaultier are not as smooth and silky as reproductions are even though FG dolls were made of fine bisque. Thus, it the dolls is perfectly clean and smooth, think twice about buying it especially if you’re after an original Gaultier Bebe doll. Most FG dolls today at mint condition will cost from $1,500 to around $9,600.
Here are some distinguishable characteristics of Francois Gaultier’s dolls:
1) French Fashion Poupee de Mode – It was characterized by a swivel bisque head, bisque kid-lined shoulder plate, lady or body, wig, bisque lower arms, painted or sleep eyes, feathered eyebrows, long lashes, closed mouth, and pierced ears. Typically marked “F.G.”
2) Block Letter Bebe – It was made of bisque socket head, jointed composition body, straight-wrist body or kid body with kid-lined shoulder plate, paperweight eyes, wig, feathered eyebrows with finely painted eye shadow, slightly opened mouth, feathered brows, and typically marked with “F.G.” in block letters.
3) Scroll Mark Bebe - It was made of bisque socket head, jointed composition body, feathered brows with long eyelashes, closed mouth, and typically marked within a scroll the label “F.G.”.
4) Open-Mouth Bebe – This type was still made of bisque socket head, jointed composition body, paperweight eyes with long eyelashes and feathered eyebrows, teeth showing from its opened mouth, pierced, and its marking is the label “F.G.” within a scroll.
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