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Napoleonic Period Dress Dolls, c. 1880. There are five dolls, all slightly above 8 inches tall and fully dressed in period uniform or costume. The bodies are formed over a metal armature, and shaped from papier mache, or similar modeling compound and appear to be examples from the late 19th century, perhaps the work of an admirer. They were not produced as a commercial product. As such the figures exhibit skill, imagination and a good knowledge of dress materials and decoration, and very suitable for display. We would classify them as a most interesting example of folk art. The figures are Napoleon in grey riding coat, Madame Mere and Josephine, Joseph and a Drum Major or Major Domo of the Household.
Napoleon. Standing with feet astride, wearing grey riding coat with red lining and buttons, hand tucked into his waistcoat, and his famous bicorn hat. He is gripping a sword. The Legion d’Honneur and Iron Crown are on his breast and black boots are decorated at the top with a gilt band. The coat has a full display of buttons. Napoleon and the other two male figures have white doeskin trousers, the faces painted and varnished somewhat crudely by today’s standards.
Joseph is standing in blue velvet dress coat with white turn backs, gilt epaulettes and edges, hand tucked in his waistcoat. He is bareheaded.
Drum Major or Major-Domo stands in a light blue uniform with white turnbacks and gilt epaulettes, red collar and cuffs, white doeskin trousers with gilt decorative edge and front decoration. He holds a long baton in his right hand which has broken from the arm but would be easily repaired with a spot of glue. The face is painted in the same manner as Napoleon.
Madame Mere and Josephine. Both figures stand elegantly in white gossamer low cut dresses with attractive decorations at the bust, waist and bottom edges, pearl necklaces and silk scarves. The faces, neck, hands and arms are coloured delicately.
The Red Lancer © 2018