Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Art of Play: “France and Marianne,” 1938

France and Marianne
French, 1938
Jumeau Toy Factory, Paris
The Royal Collection
Even wee princesses like to play with dolls. But, princesses don’t play with just any old dolls. No, they’re given dolls on behalf of the children of an entire nation—dolls with wardrobes larger than most human-beings ever amass in a lifetime.

These special dolls named “France” and “Marianne” were given to the Princesses Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret in 1938 as a gift from the “children of France.” They were made by the celebrated Jumeau Factory in Paris. The dolls were sent with an elaborate trousseau of over two hundred items including jewels, shoes, hats, gloves, luggage and gowns.

If the princesses played with them at all, they played very gently. France and Marianne remain in excellent condition, and, actually offer up a look at some of the most exciting trends in 1930’s fashions.

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