Forgotten Dolls

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Antique Jumeau SFBJ French Bleuette dolls



Bleuette, produced by the Societe Francaise de fabrication de Bebes et Jouets (SFBJ), was the mascot of the French magazine La Semaine de Suzette ("Suzette's Week") by Gautier-Languereau from 1905 to 1960. The original version of the Bleuette doll was a premium for subscribers to the magazine. The doll proved so popular that the first run of dolls was sold out before all the magazine subscription orders were filled.

Many issues of the long-running magazine featured patterns young Suzettes could use to sew clothing for Bleuette, totaling over 1000 patterns over the life of the magazine!

Today collectors enjoy displaying both antique Bleuette dolls and the many modern reproductions created by talented artists.

The many faces of Bleuette

Bleuette's head molds:

Bleuette has had many head molds over the years. The earliest molds were bisque, while later ones during World War II and later are of composition. The final Bleuette dolls created in the late 1950s had hard plastic heads.

Some of the markings seen on Bleuette's head include SFBJ 301, SFBJ 60, UNIS France 301, and UNIS France 60. Most of the Bleuette heads can be distinguished by the open mouth with four teeth.

It is particularly important to remember than many dolls with these marks were produced, and not all of them are Bleuette dolls.

Premiere Bleuette:

Sometimes called a "Jumeau Bleuette", these first Bleuette dolls were created from molds sold by the Jumeau company. They were sold in 1905 and are 27cm tall.

They are painted in the old French style and are marked "2/1" on the back of the neck. They have blue eyes, a long mohair or human hair wig, and an open mouth with four teeth. These are the only Bleuette dolls to have pierced ears.

SFBJ 6/0 Bleuette:

The second version of Bleuette was made using a German mold. They were made between 1905 and 1914 and are marked "6/0" at the back of the neck. This doll also has four teeth in an open mouth.

SFBJ 60 Paris 8/0 Bleuette:

This is the third version of Bleuette, produced from 1915 to the early 1930s. These dolls were 27cm tall. In the early 1920s, the eyes in this version were changed from inset glass to sleep eyes. Additionally, the heads began to be manufactured in composition instead of bisque. This version of the doll had four teeth in an open mouth.

This version is also sometimes marked "71 Unis France 149 60 8/0" or "SFBJ 301 1".

Unis France 301 Bleuette:

These Bleuette dolls are considered transitional. The earliest dolls from this version were 27cm tall. In 1933, however, Bleuette grew two centimetres to become 29cm tall. This version of Bleuette has sleep eyes. Both mold and painting quality vary greatly in this version.

These dolls are marked "SFBJ Paris" or "71 UNIS France 149". The most common marking is "UNIS France 301".

Bleuette 58:

The final version of Bleuette was produced from 1958 to 1960. This version is plastic with a plastic body. She is 33cm tall and is marked "Gégé" on the back of the head. She has a closed mouth, blue sleep eyes, and blonde hair.

Bleuette's body

Bleuette is on a fully jointed composition body. Until 1933 she was 27cm tall; due to changes in the manufacturing process her height was then increased to 29cm. Bodies are usually marked "2" on the torso and "1" on the soles of the feet.

Stands for Bleuette dolls

If you intend to display your Bleuette in a standing position, you will probably need a doll stand for her.

I find that these small Kaiser stands are a good fit for a "standard" (10" to 11") Bleuette body.


Further reading

You might also enjoy these articles:

Bleuette patterns

Bleuette links

Info sites

Bleuette reproduction artists

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