Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The French Dolls Of Andre Jean Thuillier

Andre Jean Thuillier began producing his own dolls in 1880 and most of his dolls had some distinguishable features that are different from the other doll makers.  His dolls had mismatched eyebrows with some blush over the eyes and also had finely applied ears.  The ears were also pierced through its lobe.  Nonetheless, the dolls were made of fine bisque and were well crafted and painted with exquisite features.  In 1876, Andre Jean manufactured the popularly known Bebe dolls.

The exquisite dolls of A.T. had white-leather bodies which are reinforced with gussets.  These are similar to the Bru doll bodies.  The dolls’ feet are also made of leather with sewn in toes and the shoulder plate had a pinked point cut leather around it.  The hands were made of bisque wherein the bisque lower arm is inserted into the leather.  The fingers had tinted cuticles and were separated instead of muffin-like.  

Nevertheless, some dolls had sharp angle molded hands which were meant to grasp something.  Other dolls made by Andre Jean had wooden bodies but these were smooth and without ball joints.  This type of doll also had flat wooden hands but its doll body is unmarked.  On the later part of Thuillier’s production around the 1890’s, the dolls were open-mouthed and had teeth showing from it.  However, most have observed that the dolls’ bodies were already crudely made around this time. 

Thus, what was observed during the production of these Andre Jean’s dolls was that the materials have degraded over time.  The first batch was made of bisque then it moved to wooden bodies until the dolls were made of papier mache composition bodies.  The dolls typically measured 12.5 inches to 32 inches.  The production of Thuillier’s dolls was around 1893 but his dolls were still one of the most well regarded pieces.  

One Thuillier doll with blonde mohair wig on a bisque socket head sold for $ 75,000 at the Theriault auction on May 12, 1990.  The doll had a mauve blushing about its eyes and the distinguishable mismatched eyebrows of A.T. dolls.  The doll had dark blue glass paperweight eyes with dark eyeliner and charcoal colored eyelashes.  Doll collectors who are into French dolls are sure to find Andre Jean’s masterpieces as one of the most elegant among other French doll makers.  One of Andre’s doll even won first place for French bisque dolls and also the 1976 UFDC President’s Choice Award I San Francisco.  It was marked A. 6 T at the back of its head. 

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