A Wonderful Late 19thC French Carved & Polychrome Painted Doll; ‘Emile’ with Accompanying Photographs

Origin: French
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1875-89
Height: 14 inches
Width: 4 inches (at shoulders)

The enchanting nineteenth century French carved and polychrome painted wood and composition doll named "Emile" with moveable head having glass eyes and presented in his original clothes comprising of tartan check suit with matching black waistcoat and black and white striped enamel buttons and silk black shoes presented with two accompanying late 19th century photographs showing the doll with the original owner, Suzanne, one dated 1889.

The condition of the doll is hugely evocative and she has knocks, chips and losses to her layers of paint but nothing of major detrimental significance. One hand shows loss and one arm is hanging by a single thread. Her costume is tired and has some discolouration to parts with some small fays and tears and the original silk black shoes are tatty. The pleasing thing is that he is wonderfully un-meddled with and we’d hate him to be badly restored.

The quality of the doll is still apparent, the painting is of good quality and the and it would have been rather expensive at the time.

Having the story of this doll documented with accompanying photographs is rare and wonderfully interesting and it elevates the piece to a higher level, especially being able to verify his original condition and a precise date with which he was pictured with his doting owner. One photo shows the doll with Suzanne, the little girl who clearly so cherished him, sitting in a spoon back chair, whilst the other shows a staged play that the girl has obviously made for her parents showing Emile and other toys in a theatrical composition. The reverse of the two photographs, which are backed onto card, are both handwritten in French and prove difficult to decipher but the date of 1889 is clear as is the dolls name Emile and the little girls name who owned the doll, Suzanne.

Time machine not required; quite simply, she takes you back.