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From ancient times, certain types of dolls accompanied a person. At first it was just wooden products wrapped in pieces of skins. Gradually, the dolls evolved after their owners, becoming more and more human-like. The beginning of the 19th century gave us a completely new look, intended for girls and even women, but practically not interesting for children - these are boudoir dolls.
The name of these toys fully explains the place they occupied in the house. Boudoir dolls, or, as they were also called, “bed” and “salon”, were an indispensable accessory in any home. It was a stylish piece of jewelry that older girls played with, dressing them, giving them natural poses, photographing them. Often, these creatures were companions when they went out - in this case, they tried to dress them in the same style as the hostess.
Because boudoir dolls are an accessory, they should be noticeable, almost conspicuous. This means that their growthDon't let them get lost in the sofa cushions. It is for this reason that the smallest dolls were at least 50 cm, on average, their height reached 90 cm. Sometimes specimens up to 120 cm were made - these were very convenient to take with you on a visit or on trips.
Causes of occurrence
It is difficult to say unequivocally why boudoir dolls appeared. One of the reasons was the decline in childbearing and, as a result, the ruin of factories producing toys. The head of one of these factories decided that if the dolls are not required by children, then adults may well like them, you just need to adapt the appearance of the toy to the needs of grown-up girls.
Others believe that the French, yearning for beauty during the First World War, decided to express the need for beauty in this way.
One way or another, the first boudoir dolls originated in France.
It is believed that this accessory was first presented to the public by Paul Poiret at a fashion show in the very early 1910s. He dressed up the dolls in the same style as the model who carried them. French society enthusiastically accepted the new fashion trend, but in other countries this trend was supported only by 1915-1918.
Dolls gained particular popularity by 1920, being in demand until the end of the forties. This can be explained by the fact that women during this period acquired independence, they got the opportunity to work, choose for themselves how to look, what to dress up. And theydecided that such a toy is a suitable companion in their new life. These changes were reflected in the appearance of the dolls: their eyes were brightly made up, their lips were covered with red lipstick. Short haircuts were not uncommon, and one of the leading manufacturing companies even released dolls with a cigarette.
The moment when the popularity of this accessory reached America became very important for manufacturers. For lovers from the States, a huge number of various models began to be produced: cowboys, Indians, movie stars. At one time, nude dolls were very popular. For them, a huge amount of clothes and accessories were produced, which their owners enthusiastically changed several times a day.
Salon beauties were often made to order, trying to achieve a resemblance to the one for whom it was intended. These dolls began to symbolize material we alth and a certain status in society. Grooms gave them to their brides, dressing them in wedding dresses and decorating them with jewels.
Since boudoir dolls spent most of their "life" lying on sofas, their bodies were soft, "limp", which allowed them to take languid poses. The body shell was made from various fabrics, while the head was made from papier-mâché, composite, or even felt. The insides of the doll were sawdust, fluff, cloth or even hay. At first, the legs and arms were composite, but later there were also such babies, whose limbs were made of celluloid.
Today, these accessories are very rare - boudoir dolls. Photos of some of them are posted by collectors, but most of them are in a very deplorable state. There are two reasons for this. First, they were never considered valuable, so they were treated accordingly. Secondly, dolls are made of materials that do not imply durability. Most of the toys that have survived to this day have very shabby clothes, a lot of patches on their faces, faded paint, and significantly thinned hair. Often the limbs of these dolls are smaller than what was created by the manufacturer. Of course, amateurs and collectors restore them as much as possible, but time has left its mark forever. Therefore, those who want to purchase a boudoir doll in good condition prefer to order a "remake".
Now many hobbyists are trying to figure out how to make a boudoir doll. There are various master classes, courses, video tutorials. Many of them teach how to create exactly what was the decoration of salons a hundred years ago.
Of course, today a do-it-yourself boudoir doll is made using other materials, much more modern. The body is sewn from various fabrics, stuffed with synthetics or wool. Hair is most often natural or made from special materials that mimic natural hair.
Dolls made a hundred years ago could not take poses that require a rigid frame. They mostly lay in pillows. A modern movable boudoir doll is oftenhas in its design details that allow not only to sit without support, but also to take various postures characteristic of a person, and sometimes even stand using simple devices.
Today, this toy is no longer the companion of the ladies going out, it does not decorate the homes of most of us. Only great enthusiasts of the doll industry and lovers of antiquity are engaged in their manufacture. In the homes of such people, and even on the shelves of collectors, today you can find this interesting creature - a salon doll.