Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Dolls of Britanny
Our November issue features a unique article "Doll Treasures from Brittany, France: A Historical and Cultural Perspective," by Elizabeth Schmahl and Carmen Farrell, including family photos form Vanessa Brunel. This article is well-written, going into the Celtic heritage of La Bretagne, one of 27 regions of France located in its Northwest. One interesting point the article makes is that the beautiful, lace trimmed costumes with their lace trimmed headdresses first appeared after The French Revolution. The authors have illustrated their work with lovely postcards, paintings, photographs, and of course, dolls, that showcase Breton costume. Dolls by Jumeau, Unis, Ravca, Poupees Venus, and S.F.B.J. all appear wearing Breton dress. Celluloid and wax dolls are also featured. I especially appreciate the photos and sketches of miniature furniture popular to the region. My favorite iece is a lit clos, or bed housed in an elaborate cupboard. Two darling little bisque mini dolls are photographed with the lit clos, which reminds me of Cathy's bed in Wuthering Heights. The authors of this well-researched piece leave no stone unturned, and even give a brief history of the faience pottery which originated in the town of Quimper, and which dates to Roman times. Pottery showing more costumes of Britanny is also shown. The dolls of Brittany seem to include everything I love about dolls, history and collecting: the Celts, French dolls, pottry, the ocean an Romans. What's not to love?!