The Schmitt and Fils (Schmitt and Sons) dolls were one of a kind dolls as these were made of composition but covered with wax. These fine and superior French dolls are very rare to find today and are valued at high prices. The Schmitt and Fils doll company was founded by Maurice and Charles Schmitt in Nogent sur-Marne, Seine and Paris. The company produced the dolls from 1863 to the year 1891. They were granted with a patent for their improved tinting technique on porcelain doll shoulder heads. The Schmitt and Fils dolls which were handcrafted with pressed bisque heads, rather than poured bisque, and with flat bottoms are the ones that are much sought after by collectors.
Most of these dolls had a pair of almond-shaped paperweight eyes painted with thick black eyeliner and painted with blush over the eyelids. The blush also extended to the cheeks and also with a light blush on its pierced ears and its chin. In 1878 at the Paris Exposition, the company won a silver medal for their Bebe dolls. Then in 1883, they were granted a patent for their one of a kind wax layering technique on the doll bisque heads which were believed to improve durability and the facial features of these dolls.
Other doll features include a facial model design that had rounded full face or an oval long-cheeked design. The dolls typically had lamb wool hair, slightly closed mouth where a small gap can be seen, lips which were delicately painted with shading and outline, and eyelashes that were not too long. The Bebe dolls of Schmitt & Fils typically measured from 12 inches to 26 inches tall. These were made of bisque socket heads, jointed composition and wood body, flat bottom body structure, long flat feet, unbent non-jointed wrists, wigged, almond-shaped paperweight eyes, short but thick lashes, slightly closed mouth, lightly blushed ears, and had the markings “SCH with crossed hammers within a shield.
Some of the Bebes also had a cup and saucer neck design which had a dome shape neck ending that snugly fits into the doll’s socket found on the neck area. The body of the Schmitt Bebe was also typically stocky yet sturdy. The dolls’ clothing was also made of exquisite materials such as silk and these had detailed accessories such as under garments, socks, bonnets, and shoes. Most of these dolls today can even cost at least $10,000. A rare and mint condition doll can even cost as much as $ 32,000 due to its unique wax material.
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