French Fashion Doll & Wardrobe, ca. 1870

Value (2008) | $5,000 Retail

GUEST:
There was a note in the box with her clothes that said she was brought from France in 1868 and she belonged to my great-aunt. She never married and we got to see the doll and even now and then we'd get out the clothes and see the clothes but I inherited her about 15 years ago.

APPRAISER:
It's true what you have is a French doll and the dates that were on the doll are correct, about 1868 to 1870. The doll is very nice by itself but the clothing

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
is really extra special. In the collecting world we call this a trousseau or a wardrobe,

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
accompanying the doll. And what's nice is every dress that you have is made the same pattern, the same period. So, we know that these clothes have always been with this particular doll.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
The doll is what we call an "FG" doll. It was made by Francois Gaultier. She will be marked on her shoulder, usually this shoulder, but her fabric of the body covers that. The bodies were made by another company. The body was made by Gesland.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And... We weren't able to undress it. I didn't want to take the chance of, uh, harming the clothing. But underneath the clothing, there's a body of fabric with a metal armature. Her hands are beautifully molded of bisque. She also has legs that are molded of bisque. And I think you were asking me what these pockets were for. Especially on a petticoat, how would you get to it? Well, this truly isn't a petticoat. It's the bottom part of a white dress.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And it could have been worn over a color and maybe that was a silk dress that's disappeared. But this particular pocket was made for a fan.

GUEST:
A fan?

APPRAISER:
See how long and narrow it is?

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
They would just fold the fan and put it in the pocket. She also has a fan pocket on this dress over here.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
She has a purse.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
She has a hat; she has all of these dresses and what's nice is they're made in cotton; they have the original buttons that are early and she also has the extra underwear over here.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Now, do you have any idea as to its value?

GUEST:
Well, because of the damage, she's had...

APPRAISER:
one foot has been replaced, and she had a crack on her breastplate.

GUEST:
So, I don't really know.

APPRAISER:
Okay, the doll itself, it's an unusual doll but because of the damage, the value of the doll would come down. But because of all of the clothing and the doll, I would, on the retail market today, put a value of $5,000.

GUEST:
$5,000? Oh, my goodness! No, I didn't expect that. I thought maybe $1,000, but I sure... You know, because of all the damage I thought, "Well, that really took the value." $5,000. Oh, well, thank you so much! When my sister sees this, she's gonna wish she had gotten the doll instead of... (laughing): Something else.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Antique and Collectible Dolls
Folsom, California
Appraised value (2008)
$5,000 Retail
Event
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Material
Bisque, Cloth, Cotton, Metal

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