Household objects found in everyday life but in a size for dolls, there has always been an infinite variety of these small toys, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the splendid and immense dolls houses of Nuremburg, in particular. With several stories, all the floors connected by at least one staircase, often two, they were fascinating to the eyes of children - and it should be said...to those of their parents also...- from the cellar to the attic!

   Nothing was missed there. It was a complete and absolutely marvelous digest of the middle-class life of the time, to the very last detail. Arranged in scenes by ardent collector, the furniture and cupboards of these houses were filled with all that is necessary to live: to eat, sleep, wash, maintain the house and the linens.

  Coffee or tea sets of the same size as the dolls or the children, doll’s tea parties in luxurious boxes, crystal glasses, forks and spoons and tableware of iron...or silver ! Working kitchen ranges, complete with furnaces and hot water taps ! - and kitchen utensils, enameled, or copper or aluminum

Superb set provided by two beautiful dolls (Petit Dumoutier and Schmitt)

This great young lady Steiner is pleased to present a dinette Alphonse Giroux

Jumeau Triste and fine Steiner 

  Some objects were made by the owners of these houses themselves, but there existed and still exist an important number of items manufactured in small lots or large series, thus commercially made. One cannot count the delightful little irons, boilers, washing-machines and clothes pins, vacuum cleaners, feather-dusters, and household accessories which were added in the twentieth century, and are still added nowadays, refrigerators, sewing machines and sewing items, the grocers’ shops furnished with miniature products, not forgetting the scales, the stoves, the ventilators, and the bathrooms and their many accessories.

The story does not say which of these dolls has polished brass. - The Dutch girl in suedette? The coquettish Heubach ?

 

   Not can we forget the clothing used for these activities, the innumerable aprons which were needed for different purposes, to set the table, to serve the tea, to be worn at the table - there were several different types of aprons worn during the course of the day - they evolved as became necessary for the way of life.

The Bears (Hermann) are also entitled to a small well equipped kitchen to prepare their cakes ..... with honey!

  These everyday objects played a very important part in the education of little girls through their play. They imitated their mothers or the people who worked in the house and thus learned their future role as mother, home maker or housewife.

Young Bonomi

 




  Indeed, up to recent times, the education of little girls was done through training in these daily tasks: to know how to sew well, to know how to feed the family, to maintain the cleanliness of the house, to entertain with ease. This training was done, naturally, by playing with dolls or toys, reflections of the children’s adult roles and the objects used by their mothers and nannies in their everyday life. 





 Exceptionnal size 16 Jumeau with a Choisy-le-Roi set for children (and not for dolls, requiring size 16!).
   Even today little girls pass the time preparing meals for their "baby", preparing meals, dusting or vacuuming, combing their dolls’ hair, washing them, changing their clothes ( witness the incredible array of objects for contemporary dolls!). Little boys also join in these games with their sisters or friends...but later know to play other  games!

   Thus, housekeeping arts for dolls are reflections of the domestic arts of adults. They follow the technology of the times, going from enamel or beautiful pottery to the present plastic, often without grace alas, but unbreakable! Today, this is obviously better.

On the left,  in front, one Simon & Halbig,
Behind, two "Jumeau Caucasien".

  Le Musée de la Poupée in Paris is presenting, all summer, an important exhibit of these housekeeping objects for dolls and children ranging from the days of the Second Empire to the present day. More than one thousand objects are presented surrounded by a hundred dolls/ These objects are from the Museum, from private collections, or on loan from current manufacturers such as "Au Sycamore", "De Fil en image", "Hermann Teddy Original", "Moulin Roty" "Petitcollin", "Reutter Porzellan", "Ulysse".

  This exhibition is for everyone, the nostalgic great-grandchildren of yesterday, the children of today who play the same games, those enthralled by doll’s tea parties and miniature electric household appliances, and collectors. It is an exhibit of much charm and nostalgia. Perfume from yesterday or from a not so remote past...


 Hélène BUGAT-PUJOL, translation
 Reading again by Agnès SURA

The Gaultier dolls are always so pretty, even when they take a foot bath !

Informations :
Musée de la Poupée-Paris Impasse Berthaud 75003 PARIS M° Rambuteau
Tel. : 01 42 72 73 11
< musee.poupee@noos.fr > < www.museedelapoupeeparis.com >

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