20" Vive la France,Vive la Russie by Leopold Lambert

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Leopold Lambert, France. Circa 1892. 20” (51 cm). Four movements. One tune. A bisque-headed girl with swivel head on bisque shoulder-plate has blue glass paperweight eyes, closed mouth, original blonde mohair wig over cork pate, carton torso and legs, wire upper arms, bisque forearms, and is posed upon a velvet tapestry covered wooden base that contains musical and mechanical works. The doll wears an elaborate traditional silk Russian folklore costume of vibrant colors with detailed edging and trim including “jeweled” head-dress and necklace. She holds a French silk flag with gold lettering “Vive La Russie, Vive La France” with silk streamers lettered “Cherbourg”, “Paris” and “Chalons”; the flag staff is topped by a brass figural with Russian and French painted flags. The doll is marked Depose Tête Jumeau 4 and the key is marked L. B. The paper tune program is marked LB Modèle Depose and the tune name, La Czarina Nazartia, is hand lettered on the label., LB Modèle Depose (paper music label). Movements: The doll nods her head, turns head side to side, blows kisses with her right hand, and waves the flag she holds in her left hand while music plays. Historical References: Close-knit ties between Russia and France reached a crescendo in the 1890’s. In 1894 the Franco-Russian Alliance formalized their close ties, and in the ensuing decade the popular Czar Nicholas II and Czarine Alix, along with their five children, virtually made Paris their second home. Lavish purchases from doll, toy and automata makers during that time are well documented including a presentation model of the Lioret Phonographe Jumeau with Russian tunes. It is likely that this automata “Vive La France, Vive La Russie” was created to celebrate the allegiance, probably as a one-of-a-kind commemorative piece. The musical tune, “La Czarine Nazartia”, may have been a pet name for the actual Czarine or for one of her four daughters.
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