Among the mechanical dolls of Roullet-Decamps, there is a particular doll which the house called " the waddling ". She is a special member of the series fearless baby, walking only, or :


The BABY ‘ FIRST STEP ‘ is a variant of the baby walker among whom the mechanism and the effect of walking are different from those of FEARLESS BABY MECHANICS; she was conceived and realized by 1910. She is almost an automaton, but this baby has no real body, and her members are reduced at least.

 The mechanism is fixed to a vertical plate of wood which constitutes the back. The front is a cardboard shell molded in the anatomical forms. Arms are simple iron stalks, ended with hands in composition. Legs, till the middle-thighs, are cardboard molded and feet are doubled by a thick lead sole.
                This baby had a lot of success. She still appears in the catalogs of the department stores of 1917.

The head is in biscuit. In the first models, it is a head character ( the novelty of time ). These heads come either from the house Simon and Halbig (SH on 1300 DEP 31/2), or of the house Heubach, marked 7569 or 7679. We can find other heads as German 8/0.

All the heads have an attractive expression of baby discreetly cheerful, as if she was happy to discover the freedom to walk only.

Indeed, this baby imitates marvelously the hesitating walking of the first steps. She moves forward slowly by waddling, her legs are spread as those of the baby who learns to walk. The mechanism cheers up itself by a key fixed in the middle of the back.

  "  And also in the reserves of the house Roullet-Decamps, either in collections, these babies with a head Limoges size 4, or UNITE 301- size 1, or still UNITED 60. This shows that this small automaton-toy lasted until years 1925/30. In the 1910s, she is dressed in a lace dress or in embroidered tulle, like that was then made, with silk bottom. There was in more a half-cape closed in front of by a big knot in silk ribbon. This baby is put on by a hat in the same lace decorated with ribbons. And maybe put, either of low shoes with rein, or bootees. "




 Generally her size is 29 cms. But from 1913 we can find her in two sizes, 28 and 32 cms.

 Below, a radiography made by Doctor Porot who shows perfectly the body of this Waddling girl:

Precise Madam POROT :

I tried to put an arrow in the middle of the back where we see a black stalk horizontal, it is indeed the key side view
We can see that eyes are eyes of enamel; as there is a little lead, they are opaque in the X-rays
All which is black is the mechanism in metal; we see slightly thread, against the light the shape of the body and the members; hands are in grey because in full composition.

The Baby Walker

A right, it is not a waddling but a baby walker with mechanism RD. Notice the key on the side and the right legs. She had a lot of success because she was made since approximately 1900 until 1930/36. The waddling has necessarily the key in the back ( see the doll opposite to the left ) and legs are spread ( pushed aside ) according to the system of lame walking. The baby walker has to be kept either by straps, suspenders or by hand. Waddling, she alone walks without support of a leg on the other one.

                                                                                Anne-Marie POROT

                                                                      The small surprises of E Bay

                  As you flip through the pages of E Bay we found a few fine examples of wadding babies

                                                                                         R  E T U R N

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Dec 2014