The Parisian firm of Rabery & Delphieu conducted business from 1856 to 1898 and then later merged with the S.F.B.J. in 1899. During the early years Rabery & Delphieu sold a variety of cloth, kid and linen bodied dolls as well as marottes. By 1881 they were advertising “Jointed Bebes”. The firm began using the mark R.D. in 1890. The facial expressions of R.D. have been described as pensive, somber, aloof, haughty or serene. Needless to say they are not a doll with universal appeal. Some people say they are an acquired taste. I however, fell in love with the R.D. face from the moment I laid eyes on the Antique.
A square shaped facial configuration is the most distinguishing characteristic of the Rabery & Delphieu Bebes. The earlier Bebes generally have large almond shaped paperweight eyes. R.D.’s have lovely complexions and beautifully painted mouths. The combination of square face, large expressive eyes and widely arched eyebrows are what gives the R.D. her very special look. Your typical early R.D. has good quality bisque, cork pate, pierced ears, paperweight eyes, and a French ball jointed composition body. It also usually had a closed mouth, mauve eyeshadow and straight wrists. The later dolls, those poured after 1899 when Rabery & Delphieu was absorbed into S.F.B.J. are known for their deep paperweight eyes, rosier cheeks, open mouth with teeth, jointed wrists, and smaller hands.
Illustration 29: R3D