Articles

Winner of the 2016 “Holiday Bleuette Doll Giveaway”!

Winner of the 2016 Holiday Bleuette Doll Giveaway Ellen Bond

Winner of the 2016 Holiday Bleuette Doll Giveaway Ellen Bond

Ellen Bond of Clarinda, Iowa received her Christmas 2016 Bleuette Jumeau yesterday! Ellen is one happy lady! Congratulations Ellen for winning the Land of Oz Dolls 2016 Holiday Giveaway Doll! Thanks to all who entered this year’s drawing! Connie Zink

Clearance Sale In My eBay Store!

Good afternoon all, I wanted to let you all know about some special sales I am having in my eBay Store. I will be discontinuing selling doll supplies in my eBay store, so I started many three day auctions this morning on 12″, 16″ and 8″ French Fashion Doll supplies and other items. When these are gone I will no longer be stocking these items. Please keep checking my eBay store periodically for new clearance items that will be added. I need to make room here in the shop so time to start clearing out the excess stock I have. In the future, I will be concentrating on my finished doll, soft-fired greenware and bisque orders. Here is a link to my store: http://stores.ebay.com/Land-of-Oz-Dolls-by-Connie-Zink 

I also have an auction ending in a few hours on this adorable 8″ K&R 114. I only have one of these so if you are interested please bid now!

8" K&R 114 by Connie Zink

8″ K&R 114 by Connie Zink

8" K&R 114 by Connie Zink

8″ K&R 114 by Connie Zink

Here is a link to the actual auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111606137684?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 . There is a little over three hours left on this auction.

Have a great day and watch for more specials from Land of Oz Dolls. It is Spring Cleaning Time!!!!

Dolly Hugs, Connie Zink

 

After Valentine’s Day Sale Ends Tomorrow Afternoon!!!

Good evening all, I wanted to let you know about an “After Valentine’s Day Sale” I have running right now on eBay. I have six special offers currently on eBay. The auctions will end at various times tomorrow afternoon. If you are not an eBay user and see something you might be interested in contact me and if it doesn’t sell at auction, after the auction ends, I can arrange the sale for you off eBay. Here is what’s on sale:

29" Bru 14 Head on Ebay

29″ Bru 14 Head on Ebay

Here is a link to the auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111602157430?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Save $200.00 right now on this beautiful large Bru 14 head!

15" Bru 5 Frenchette

15″ Bru 5 Frenchette

 

Save $75.00 on this Dressed 15″ Bru 5 “Frenchette”.

Click here for more details: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111602281811?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

15" A Steiner Frenchette

15″ A Steiner Frenchette

Save $75.00 on this Dressed 15″ Steiner “Frenchette”.

Click here for more info: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111602279722?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

AT 11

21″ AT 11

 

Save $150.00 on this 21″ AT11.

For more details click here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121574136115?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Mlle. Florence

20″ Mlle. Florence

 

Save $100.00 on 20″ Mlle. Florence.

Click here for complete details: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121574128511?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Sonneburg Bleuette "Friend"

Sonneburg Bleuette “Friend”

Save $20.00 on this Bleuette “Friend” Sonneburg Child as an Undressed Doll.

For complete details click here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121574018701?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Auctions end tomorrow and the dolls will go back to their regular prices. If you are interested and use eBay please visit my eBay store. You can also email me if you are interested in purchasing: landofozdolls@mchsi.com or  phone 815-565-0024.

Winter is almost over and I hope everyone is looking forward to Spring. I have some Spring Cleaning specials on some supplies I will be starting here shortly so please stop back by the website soon. Have a great weekend!

Dolly Hugs,

Connie Zink

Special Auction! Premiere Jumeau Bleuette Listed on Ebay Three Days Only!!!!!

Happy New Year to all!!! I just listed a special three day auction on this Premiere Jumeau Bleuette on Ebay. Starting price is $195.00. She has a tiny black speck in the porcelain on her cheek, just like many of the antiques. It does not take away from her beauty it only adds character! Here is a link to the listing:

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/111568254324?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Have a great week!!!

Dolly Hugs,

Connie Zink

 

 

French Doll History

Good evening everyone! I hope you all have had a great weekend. Are you ready to sit down, relax with a cup of tea, and enjoy reading some French Doll History? About ten to fifteen years ago when my daughter worked for me, she compiled together some history of some of the more popular French Doll Companies. Many who make authentic antique reproductions like to study the history of the original antiques, after having enjoyed these pages on my old website for years, I decided to also move them onto this newer site. This will give you a brief summary of some of the wonderful old French doll makers such as Bru, Jumeau, Steiner, etc.

Just click on the link to the French history doll pages: French Dolls History

Original A. Marque

Original A. Marque

A - Series Steiner

Illustration 32: A-Series Steiner

Illustration 8 - Bru Jne 15

Bru Jne 15

Have a great evening and enjoy a little bit of French Doll History!

Dolly Hugs, Connie Zink

Andre Jean Thuillier

The A.T. is blessed with universal appeal. Note the blushing over the eyes and mismatched eyebrows. We have known for a long time that someone named Thuillier probably made these exquisite masterpieces of the doll world. Today, thanks to research of Florence Theriault and French counterpart, Francois Theimer we know that these dolls were indeed made by Andre Jean Thuillier.

In 1876, Thuillier started producing his own dolls and in 1880, started production of Bebes. A.T. dolls are among the most desired dolls. Their charm and beautiful eyes make them very appealing. A.T. dolls are made of fine bisque and are usually well decorated. Some dolls have more intense color than others. A few later A.T.’s have two rows of tiny teeth. Bisque is not good on late dolls, and the painting is sloppy.

Early A.T. dolls are the ones collectors desire. It is obvious by the workmanship that later A.T.s may have been done by another company but from Thuillier’s molds.

Most A.T.’s were produced by the older method of pressing porcelain in the mold. All A.T. dolls have finely applied ears, and ears pierced through the lobe.

Some faces of A.T.’s have more detail in the modeling than others because molds wore down. They appear to have been originally modeled by the same artist.

A.T. Bodies: The finest A.T. dolls seem to have white-leather, gusseted bodies similar to early Bru bodies. The leather is pinked (point cut into it like pinking shears around the shoulderplate. Feet are leather, with sewn in toes.

On leather bodies, we have found three different bisque hands. All hands were attached by inserting the lower arm into leather at the midway point of the forearm. The loveliest hands are found on the A7T. Hands have separated fingers and tinted cuticles. The hand is in a relaxed position similar to, but unlike, the Bru bisque hand. Another hand on an A3T has fingers modeled at a sharp angle, as if they were meant to be holding something. Another A.T. doll we have seen has a more relaxed, baby like hand.

Other A.T’s have well made wood bodies. These bodies are smooth working, without balls in the joints. Wood hands are rather flat. Bodies are unmarked.

Later A.T. dolls, with open mouths and teeth, are found on an unusual assortment of crude bodies. We think something drastic happened to cause the change. The company may have changed hands or formulas may have been lost. Some examples are composition bodies with jointed at the wrist hands. There are large bodies, such as the 28” A.T. doll with a molded bosom and little other shaping. There is a lady with a wasp like waist, large bosom and crude joints. Later A.T. bodies seem to be light papier mache, painted ivory, instead of a heavier composition used Thuillier.

There is a little historical information available on A.T. dolls. At first, we reversed the dates of the bodies. We thought crude were produced earlier. But after studying the dolls, we have determined they were made in the following order:

  1.  Fine leather bodies, with beautiful heads and bisque hands.
  2. Good, sturdy wood bodies with excellent heads.
  3. Heads with open mouths and run of the mill composition of papier mache bodies.

A.T.’s were made in a range of sizes, for the No. 2 at 12 ½” to the No. 15 at 32”. There are also numbers that do not fit any scale. Number may indicate the type of body used.

AT14

Illustration 34: 14” A4T

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Illustration 35. Close up of A4T Eyes

Illustration 34 is an A4T who is 14” tall. She is on a leather body with gussets at the knees and sewn toes. The leather is squared and smooth cut over the shoulder plate. Her forearms are short and go into leather sleeves for upper arms. The bottoms of the sleeve leather is die cut, like pinking. Her hands are similar to the Bru baller hands. Both the swivel-head and shoulder plate are incised AT 4 and are of pressed bisque. The head is smooth bisque with a cork pate and pierced ears. Her eyes are a deep cobalt blue paperweight with darker blue rims. There is a dark line all around each eye, and the lashes are a charcoal gray. Her brows are soft and light, not exactly matching. Her lips are parted and the color is darker between them. She has delicately blushed cheeks.

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Illustration 36. is a 19” A7T

Illustration 36. is a 19” A7T and is incised both on the head and the shoulder plate. Her creamy, perfect bisque has beautifully detailed decoration. The soft, feathered brows bring out the dramatic blue of her paperweight eyes. Black liner and many charcoal lashes accent the eyes.

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Illustration 37 is of a 24” A12T.

Illustration 37 is of a 24” A12T. This round faced, wonderfully modeled A12T is enchanting. The well-defined features show her to be one of the first out of the mold. The painting of her mismatched eyebrows are soft, with light feathering. The lashes are painted with charcoal gray. The gray-blue, paperweight eyes are lined with black, and the pale mauve above the eyes adds character. Her accented, slightly parted lips almost smile, they are painted darker between. The cheeks are carefully blushed.

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Illustration 38: AT9 20”

Illustration 38: AT9 20” Her painting splendidly reflects the care with which she was made. She has feathered, medium dark brown brows with a shadow brow of the same color. There is a dark line around each of the dark blue paperweight eyes, which are enhances by black eyelashes. There is only a tiny bit of mauve above her eyes, right on the eyelids. Her slightly parted lips have a slight white space between them; they are accented, top and bottom. Her cheeks are delicately blushed over pale cream flesh.

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Illustration 39: A11T

Illustration 39: A11T The blonde mohair wig covers a cork pate and the bisque socket head. Her dark blue glass paperweight eyes are encircled with dark eyeliner and dark charcoal eyelashes. There is a mauve blush above the eyes. Her typical A.T. eyebrows are mismatched and brush stroked with medium brown over a slightly darker brown shadow brow. The mouth is closed with a white space between the accented lips. Her cheeks are lightly blushed. This doll sold at the May 12, 1990 Theriault’s auction for $75,000.

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Illustration 40: 17” A.T.8

Illustration 40: 17” A.T.8 With an entirely different face and facial painting, she is an enchanting doll. The face is almond shaped. The brows are fuller, as are the lips. Her eyebrows are feathered strokes of a soft tan over shadow brows that are set wide apart. The brush stroke lines are quite horizontal. The lashes are black and the eyes are each encircled with a dark line. The glass paperweight eyes are a very dark blue. Her mouth is painted full with a darker area between the lips which appear to have been blotted to make the two shades. She also has quite rosy cheeks.

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Illustration 41. A.T.5

Illustration 41. A.T.5 As time passed the, he appealing A.T. bebes changed. As with Brus and other wonderful French baby dolls, those early captivating faces were changed to meet the demands of the market. The original round face modeling was kept with a dimple added in the chin and with stronger painting, the later dolls had to smile with open mouths and teeth. Her lined brows match the brown hair, while the lashes are black with a black rim at the top and bottom of the eye cuts. The open mouth is set with three square, bottom teeth and three top teeth. The upswing at the corners make her smile. The lips are blotted and accented. She is well blushed to the outside of her plump cheeks, with a little color on the chin. She is on a composition body with jointed wrists.

Aristide M. Halopeau

We now know that Aristide M. Halopeau is the maker of the doll incised with the block H and size number. Heads are extremely scarce, are exceptionally beautiful, and both heads and bodies are the highest quality. These dolls are a collector’s dream.

We have tracked down the sizes known to collector’s.
Size 0 = 16”
Size 1 = 18”
Size 2 = 20”
Size 3 = 22”
Size 4 = 24”
Size 5 = 27”
There may be larger sizes, but it is doubtful there is a size below 0.

Markings on the heads are located in the same place on each head and done with the same block letters. Sometimes the mark is lightly impressed, and other times it is impressed deeply. The size number comes first followed by the letter H.

The doll making company was in existence before 1890 because all the heads are pressed, not poured porcelain. After 1890 almost all doll-making companies poured porcelain into molds. The quality bisque, the fine paperweight eyes and the beautiful craftsmanship of wood bodies indicate these were at the height of doll-making era. Halopeau could not compete with the other French Firms and in 1889, his business collapsed. The company’s short existence explains the limited supply of H dolls that are in circulation today.

Identifying H-Dolls: The face of an H doll is rather square. Eyes are paperweight sometimes with threading. The H and the number are incised just under the rim of the head.

Illustration 12:

Illustration 12: The H-dolls are of the highest quality and the H1 is a fine example of Halopeau’s fabulous work. Her brows have a light brown shadow brow with lighter feathering on top. The charcoal lashes are finely painted, the eye cuts are black rimmed inside and her eyes are glass blue paperweight. The accented mouth is shaded and the perfect bisque is blushed low on the cheeks with a little on the chin. A light mauve shadows only the eyelids. This rare doll was made in the 1880’s.

Illustration 13: 22” 3H

Illustration 13: 22” 3H – She is perfection plus. Her dramatically large blue eyes will captivate any audience. Her lids are blushed with mauve and her finely painted eyelashes come from a black lined eye cuts. Her soft, two-toned eyebrows are very finely feathered and the mouth is well sculpted and painted. The lips are accented with a darker tone and a white space in between. Her chin and cheeks are blushed to perfection. This doll was sold at a Theriault’s auction on Jan. 6, 1990 for a record-breaking $100,000; at that time, the highest auction price ever paid for a doll in the United States.

Illustration 14: 24” 4H

Illustration 14: 24” 4H – Her eyebrows have a darker shadow brown and an overlay of fine, lighter brown brow strokes. The eye cuts are lined in black and charcoal gray eyelashes encircle the deep dark blue paperweight eyes. Her accented lips have a somewhat darker color between them. There is a light mauve shadow form the eyes to the eyebrows.

Illustration 14: 24” 5H

Illustration 15: 27” 5H – She is beauty personified! Her cheeks were blushed on the outside plumpness and there is only a little blush on her chin. Mauve was blushed above her deep blue paperweight eyes. The eye cuts are lined in black and encircled with black eyelashes. The mouth is molded with slightly parted lips and were finely painted and accented. The brows are a darker shadow brow overlaid with many lighter strokes.

Francois Gauliter

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Illustration 11 – 31” F.G.

Francois Gauliter has been a mystery doll maker. It has been hard to find much information on him. He made bisque doll heads and limbs, as well as all-bisque dolls. On December 2, 1872 he took out a patent for the improvement of molds for making dolls’ heads. In 1884 his firm became Gaultier and Son and again in 1888 the name changed to Gaultier Brothers. In 1899 Gaultier Brothers become part of the SFBJ company but not part of the land or premises.

As far as collectors are concerned dolls with the markings F.G. are referred to as Gaultier’s. Heads marked F.G. are painted in a style of their own. F.G. heads and dolls are valuable to a collector because they are made of fine bisque and are well decorated.

There are three types of bodies on F.G. dolls – wood, wood and composition, and Gesland bodies. Bodies by Gesland are made of a padded metal armature covered with knit fabric.

Some small, later F.G. dolls are not as well painted and bisque is not the same quality. One detail that alerts us to the difference is low painting of nostril color, which makes the doll appear as if it has a bloody nose.

Henri Delcroix

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Illustration 10 – PAN

His name might not sound familiar to you. One of the reasons could be that he did not join with the SFBJ. Henri Delcroix made dolls between 1865 and 1887 in Paris and among other cities in France. There are many marks attributed to Delcroix: “GD Paris”, “Paris HD”, and “Paris PAN”. Henri Delcroix registered the trademark “PAN” in 1887.

These dolls can be identified at a glance by their large round eyes. They are of the type that once you have passed by, you do a double take.

House of Bru

When discussing Bru dolls, we must speak of the “House of Bru”, because many companies utilized the Bru name after the business was no longer owned or operated by Bru.

The Company
Leon Casimir Bru had worked as a doll assembler for a short time before deciding to start his own business. In 1866, the Bru Company was the first doll manufacturer to be settled on the Rue Saint Denis in Paris, France. Later, other doll makers followed.

Lady Fashion Bru dolls were assembled by Leon Casimir Bru and his wife, Appolyne. The heads were fashioned by R. Barrios. Appolyne, a seamstress, provided the elaborate costumes for the lovely dolls.

In 1876, the first doll in the Bébé line, Breveté, was produced. In 1879, the second doll in the Bébé line, the Circle Dot Bru, sometimes referred to as a Crescent Bru, was introduced. By 1880, the third doll in the Bébé line, Bru Jne, was in production.

In 1883, the Bru Company was sold to Henri Chevrot. Under Chevrot’s leadership, the company name changed to “Bru Jne. & Cie.”, which stands for Bru Junior and Company. Henri Chevrot added a new body for the Bru Jne head. Usually this body is referred to as the “Chevrot Body”. It features a slimmed down tummy and hips, lower legs of wood, and pin joints at the elbows & knees. The lower arms were bisque with a few exceptions of wood.

During the time of Chevrot’s ownership the Bru dolls that we all know and love were produced. It was the fine craftsmanship and wonderful designs of Chevrot’s Bru Jne dolls that won so many gold medals. These are the Bru dolls that stand in our cases and represent the the ultimate in doll making.

In 1889, the House of Bru changed hands again when Paul Girard took over. Girard altered the Bru Jne from the old master molds to a look that was barely recognizable. Girard made teeth, open mouths, and altered the chin. He made kiss-throwing Brus, walking Brus, and other inventions. He also added an “R” to the signature. The company continued to manufacture Bru dolls until 1899. At that point, the company was assimilated into S.F.B.J. (the Societe Francaise de Fabrication de Bebes and Jouets).

S.F.B.J. absorbed most of the major French makers of dolls, because German bisque doll competition became nearly overwhelming. At this time, the French companies no longer produced bisque or porcelain heads themselves. It was less expensive to import pieces from Germany than to manufacture their own. Nevertheless, S.F.B.J. continued to produce the Bebe le Teteur Bru into the next century.

The Molds
Studies of Bébé Bru faces have determined there were only three master molds. The earliest of the children dolls was the unmarked Bébé Bru Breveté. The second master mold was the Circle Dot or Crescent Bébé Bru. The third master mold was Bébé Bru Jne. Each of these heads were sculpted by Leon Casimir Bru and all the master molds had been completed before Chevrot purchased the business.

Hundreds of different Bru faces were all conceived from these master molds. In fact, all various Bru Jne faces were taken from the same mold. The seeming differences were mere alterations made by cutting the eyes larger or smaller and by the removal of the teeth or tongue line. Other subtle differences were made in the painting, shape of the brows, and the shape of the lips. Even the color of the eyes changed the Bru so that while one was spectacular, another was mediocre. However, the basic shape was left untouched.

The same hand molds were used repeatedly. The first hand, with curved under fingers on the Breveté was only used on the Breveté. The ballerina hands were the loveliest and most artistic hands made by any company at that time. The hands were first used on short arms that went into a leather sleeve, then used as well as the pin-jointed, elbow length arms. Apparently, these forearms were not resized with every head reduction, but were used in one size for all three head sizes. Other Bru hands were made of wood and none were shaped like the ballerina hands.

The Bodies
This list outlines the chronological production sequence of Bru bodies. It’s important to note the duration of production periods for these various body types overlap.

  1. Leather and wood Lady Fashion bodies.
  2. Breveté chubby leather body, leather lower legs, bisque lower arms.
  3. Circle and Dot chubby leather body, leather lower legs, bisque lower arms.
  4. All wood eight-jointed Lady Fashion body.
  5. Gusseted leather body, leather lower legs, bisque lower arms.
  6. Slim leather body(Chevrot), pin-jointed wood lower legs and pin-jointed bisque lower arms.
  7. Slim leather body(Chevrot), pin-jointed wood lower legs and pin-jointed wood lower arms.
  8. All wood body multi-jointed Bébé body.
  9. Composition body.
  10. Kiss-throwing composition body.

Many people think that composition Bru bodies were only implemented late in production. However after much research, we discovered composition bodies were used on early productions of the Bru Jne, but they were not very popular. After 1890, composition bodies were frequently utilized by Paul Giraud.

The Dolls

Lady Fashion Bru
The earliest Bru dolls were the Poupée de Mode (literal translation is Doll of Fashion), or Lady Fashion Doll, sometimes referred to as “Smiling Bru” or “Mona Lisa Bru”. These were produced from 1866 to 1885 and featured bodies of goatskin leather and wood. These early production Bru dolls were marked with a letter indicating a size number and nothing else. Later, Lady Fashion dolls were marked “R.B.” (Barrios), “B.Jne et Cie.”, or “B.J.”.

By 1869, Leon Casimir Bru advertised Lady Fashion dolls featuring all wood bodies. These were jointed at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles.

Bébé Bru Breveté
Breveté was the first Bébé Bru doll (literal translation is Baby Bru). These were produced from 1876 to 1880. Bébé Bru Breveté dolls featured beautifully formed and delicate molded head, mounted on a shoulder-plate, which was then attached to a goatskin leather body. These dolls also featured bisque lower arms with beautiful cupped hands and each fingernail outlined in pink. The lower legs were made of goatskin leather. For identification, it had only a sticker on the chest.

At the time, all other French companies Placed their first Bébé heads on composite bodies. However, Leon Casimir Bru was already producing leather bodies for his Lady Fashion dolls. So he fashioned leather bodies in child-like proportions for his Bébé Bru Breveté.

Circle Dot Bébé Bru
The Circle Dot Bru, sometimes referred to as a “Crescent Bru”, was produced from 1879 to 1885 and featured a leather body. These Bru dolls also featured bisque lower arms. The lower legs were made of leather. These Bru dolls were marked with the circle and dot mark, which is a dot under a half-circle or in a full circle.

Bébé Bru Jne
The Bru Jne was produced from 1880 to 1890 and featured various types of body constructions. Some of these dolls featured an all wood body, jointed at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. This construction was wonderful for posing a doll. With these joints the dolls could be posed in nearly any position. However, it proved too expensive and time consuming to manufacture such bodies. As a result, very few were produced. Most of these dolls featured either a gusseted leather body with bisque lower arms, a slim leather body and pin jointed bisque lower arms, a slim leather body with pin jointed wooden lower arms, or a composition body. These Bru dolls were marked with “Bru Jne”.

Bébé Bru Jne R
The Bru Jne R was produced from 1890 to 1899. These Bru dolls were marked with “Bru Jne R”.

Transitional Bru Dolls
Between each production period, transitional dolls were produced. These dolls possessed parts from both the old and new production lines.

Novelty Bru Dolls
Bru also made a set of unique novelty dolls:

  • Bébé Musique – featured a mechanism which played music.
  • Bébé lé Teteur – also referred to as the “Nursing Bru”, was the most popular Bru doll ever produced and featured a mechanism that would draft liquid from a baby bottle.
  • Bébé Gourmand – also referred to as the “Eating Bru”, featured a mechanism which allowed children to feed the doll. Dry food was put into the mouth. It then fell down through the body to the feet. The shoes were designed with little flaps to remove the food. This particular doll possessed very heavy and chubby bisque legs that were not used on any other Bru.

NOTE: There were many other patents and inventions from the House of Bru, but those most treasured by antique doll collectors have been mentioned here.