Pair, Very Rare French Carved Wooden Court Dolls in Original Costumes

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14" (36 cm.) Depicting persons of the 18th century French court, the pair of wooden dolls include a gentleman and lady, padded cloth torso and upper limbs, highly characterized anatomical body features, wooden lower limbs with carved and painted shoes. The lady has pompadour style coiffure with horizontal rows of curls at either side of the face, long looped curl at the back and a rolled coronet curl and the man has carved grey hair with rolled curls at the sides and an extended carved ponytail behind. Each is wearing its original silk and brocade costume with rich detail and the woman with tiniest pearl necklace and bracelets, and with very elaborate bonnet. Condition: very good, original finish throughout with typical fading. Comments: French, circa 1780, from a remarkable series of dolls created during the mid-late 18th century representing figures of the French court, and used by members of the aristocracy to story-tell innuendos and social scandals of the day. An exhibition of the dolls entitled "Exposition Costumes Ancien" was held in Paris in 1909 at the Musee de Arts Decoratif; shown in a photograph in the exhibition catalog was a group of the dolls including this very pair. Value Points: rare dolls, each of the series is unique, in original condition and having original costumes.
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