Monday, July 16, 2012

Postcard from France

A recent trip to the post office resulted in a pleasant surprise letter from an eBay buyer from France.  Enclosed in the white envelope was a postcard from Musée de la Poupée Paris with a handwritten note on back thanking me for the extra doll article I sent the buyer with her magazine purchase.  Additionally, she also sent a bookmark from the Paris doll museum.

Bookmark (left) and postcard (right) from France

The bookmark features a 1933 cloth and felt Raynal doll.   The postcard illustrates a little girl delighting herself in doll play. 

"Such a sweet gesture, very typical of what a 'doll person' would do," I thought.  I sent her a thank you note through eBay to acknowledge my appreciation and receipt of these two items.  This postcard and bookmark from France, reminded me of one of the oldest dolls in my collection.

Bisque and composition SFBJ Unis France doll, early 1900s
 This 8-1/2-inch (21.59cm) doll was documented as "all bisque" in my book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls (Hobby House Press, 2002). Re-examination, several years post-publication revealed the doll has a bisque head and composition body.  (For my future reference, I scribbled that info in the book after the discovery.)  She wears her original island-style, sewn-on clothing, which is rather tattered and torn in the back from age.  She has a tiny facial rub as shown in the image.  Her head is marked:  UNIS France 60.

According to, Union National Inter Syndicale (UNIS) dolls were made from 1916-1960.  My doll is one of their earliest.  A similar doll can be seen and read about here.  Additional information on SFBJ and UNIS France dolls can be read here.


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  1. Very nice gesture from the buyer. That Raynal doll is precious. Lovely seeing your bisque French doll in her original clothing. I learned to love antique dolls after I started making reproductions.

    1. The Raynal is precious. I just came across an article on Raynal and other felt dolls yesterday.


  2. Wow, that is really nice to own a doll from that time....VERY nice. That was sweet of the buyer to send you those items. Nice things happen to nice people. : )


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