Jumeau Bébé Doll, ca. 1880

Value (2008) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

APPRAISER:
About five years ago, we were getting ready to turn the remains of my family's ranch into a museum. So my dad and I went down to this barn and we were up in the hayloft and we hauled out this small little suitcase that was kind of falling apart and in it was this doll and all of her accessories.

APPRAISER:
So this was a family doll?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
It is marked on the body "Jumeau."

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Now, Jumeau started making Bébés in the mid-1870s. Before that, they were making fashion dolls, lady dolls. And their very first series of children dolls we call the portrait Jumeaus. And they look very much like this doll, but it is not a portrait Jumeau. This is more of a transition to a new period in Jumeau making. This is their Bébé . You can't see the entire mark, but you see right there, you see a one. Underneath the one is an "E" and a "J". What the EJ stands for is Emile Jumeau. What the one means is the size number. In this early period of EJ, the size one would be followed by a larger doll-- size two, size three-- accordingly, of course.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And later on, after they made this EJ, they made another EJ that says "E" and then the number and then "J". Now, this is a lot more difficult to find than that EJ. E1J is about 9.5 inches, where this earlier EJ model is 11 inches. This leather cap here is the original goatskin wig, where all the goat hair has fallen off. It has hand-cut eye sockets. It has these early threaded enameled glass blue eyes. And it has this great pale complexion. Later on, Jumeaus get a little bit more skin tone. It has finely painted brows. All their Bébés had pierced ears. I do want to note that these lower arms are repainted. I don't know if you knew that.

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
It does have the original Médaille d'Or stamp on the torso... stamped it Médaille d'Or. And so that dates this doll pretty accurately to after 1878-- like 1879, 1880. Does that rhyme with...

GUEST:
Yes, it does. It belonged to my great-aunt, and she was born in 1882.

APPRAISER:
Now let's talk about the value. We're evaluating it without the original dress, without the original wig, without the original shoes. It's just basically bare bones doll. So, in this state, it would be an auction estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.

GUEST:
I said I wasn't going to say, "You're kidding me," and I'm not going to. I'm just flabbergasted. I was thinking maybe $1,000.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Village Doll Shop
Adamstown, PA
Morphy Auctions
Appraised value (2008)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Event
Palm Springs, CA (June 07, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Form
Doll

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