Tete Jumeau: One of My Favorite Antique French Dolls

TeteJumeauAllOriginalAlthough the Tete Jumeau Bebe is not the rarest of French antique bisque dolls, and not even the rarest of Jumeau dolls, the Tete Jumeau is one of my favorites.  Made in just about any size imaginable, you can find Tete Jumeaus dressed in their original store chemises (as with this doll), in French Folklore costumes, and in the frilliest of high couture for children of the 1890s.

This is my favorite Tete Jumeau doll in my collection. She stands 14 inches tall, and is so beautifully original–she comes to us with a perfectly untouched fully-jointed composition/wood body. big brown paperweight eyes, her original wig, chemise, Jumeau socks and shoes signed “Bebe Jumeau depose 5”  I have added the hat because she simply cried out for one (it is antique and of the period).  She is a size 5. I have had this little Tete Jumeau in my collection since 2000. Can’t you just see her in a shop in France in the early 1890s just as she is now?

Also, the painting on the Tete Jumeau Bebe dolls is often wonderful, especially on the earlier ones. This particular example has beautifully feathered eyebrows, well-painted eyelashes and a lovely delicate cheeks. I also love the painting of her mouth–she is a closed mouth doll, but the painting shows almost slightly parted lips.

Although Tete Jumeau Bebes have not skyrocketed in value in the last decade, for a closed-mouth doll in excellent condition, you can still expect to pay in the $3,000 to $7,000 range, depending on size, originality, costume, exact condition, and bisque and face painting.  I include the large range in prices here to make another point–it is very hard to give an “exact price” on a particular type of antique doll since so much depends on, well, the individual doll itself. There are so many variables in pricing–if you are in the market for a particular antique doll, or wanting to sell a particular antique doll, you should research as many examples of that doll as you can so you can see the range of prices and the reasons for the range of prices, and then apply that information to your doll.

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