An Early 20thC French Articulated Child Mannequin c.1910

Origin: French
Period: Early 20th Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1910
Height: 31.5”
Width: 12”
Depth: 8.5”

The wooden male child form having articulated upper arms, in maple being black painted, and a red painted torso with the original black leather shoes, and painted black socks, with a papier-mâché and pressed card torso, the whole surviving from early twentieth century France.

The mannequin is complete aside from the hands which may or may not have been present in the first instance. The whole shows several knocks and chips to the painted surfaces which is part of its huge appeal and some old worm to the softwood. The shoes on this example are scarcer and are simply wonderfully evocative. The mannequin would have been on a rod stand to make it stand unaided.

This mannequin may well be by V.N. Siegel of Siegel & Stockman, Paris, established in 1867, who experimented with articulated legs, arms and wooden hands with bendable digits in an effort to more closely mimic human activities and later in 1925 startled the display industry with modern abstract mannequins closely following the Art Deco style. The company are still very much in operation today. Although this example doesn’t appear to be stamped it is probably by Siegel.

…“The seated mannequin is destined to inhabit rooms, especially in the corners of rooms; open air does not suit holiness. This is where they are at home; where they display the gifts of their ineffable and mysterious poetry”… Giorgio de Chirico; Birth of the Mannequin 1938.