Translation edited by Agnes SURA
With all our thanks !
The prodigious wardrobe to which Monique Couturier and Samy Odin have just dedicated an enormous book, in which collectors recognize many pieces which are seen again and again in the clothing of this little doll when one welcomes her into the family. Two outfits however get loose particularly. The one will last almost thirty years, I want to speak of " Petit Bob ", the other one fifty five years.... What is nothing ! ! ! I want to speak of the " Marin ". Naturally, in the course of the years, these two models underwent changes, but very little for "Petit Bob", where it is necessary to look carefully to find them. Sometimes Gautier-Languereau indicates in the catalogs : "new model". Before I write about "Marin", which is even older, - a large work in progress -, I choose today to write in detail about :

Été 1932
This charming outfit consisted of a "loose fitting jacket" - so described for a long time and of a "polo" cap - which will keep this name until the end - described in the Winter Catalog 1930/1931 :

Loose fitting jacket, navy only, with gold buttons, completed with an American polo (similar to a sailor hat) with white stripes for 16 franc. The first illustration which is given is a drawing of the back, a straight coat with a center box pleat crossed by a half belt with two gold buttons at each end. The collar seems large and lies on the shoulders. Accompanying information states that one can add to the set the silk scarf that is seen on the model to the right, the name of which is not yet given and which costs 2.75 franc. In the following catalog this scarf is identified as "Iris".

Continued in the Summer 1931 catalog, a front view is shown, with the four gold buttons, always accompanied, if one wished, with the scarf "Iris".
Hiver 30/31

Été 1931

And now, two things should be noted: the tight stand up collar which closes straight under the chin, the shoulders aren't covered. But really, what strikes us is the buttons which are not correct for a female doll! It closes from left to right while this should be the opposite !




" Iris "


And (the pictures of) this closing will be the same for the next twenty years, with only two exceptions that we shall see. All the other coats are buttoned as is correct for a girl except "Petit Bob"! We can not think that it is a reversal in this edition of the catalog or in some of the catalogs...
Besides, it also can not be a simple error of the draftswoman because there were two: Maggie Salcedo and Manon Iessel and both persisted in buttoning it from left to right in their drawings ! However, all the realizations of this little coat, at least those that I have had in my hands or seen (and they are numerous), all have the closing from right to left (correct for little girls).
But let us return to its first description : at that time it exists only in marine (and not navy blue) and the price remains unchanged...

In the following catalog, Winter 1931/1932, again shown front view, there is a wide shawl collar but nothing in the text to indicate this. Description, color, price, nothing changes.

And in the Summer 1932 catalog it is absent, probably a victim of its successÉhowever it bounces back six months later..
Indeed, in the Winter 1932/33 catalog, presented front view and completely the same as that of the previous winter, it is now clarified that it is in "wool velvet" and comes not only in "marine" but also and for the first time, in "rouge vif" (bright red)! The price remains unchanged and the suggestion of the purchase of "Iris" is still there..
Note that this is the last year of the 27cm Bleuettes and that the little doll is going to increase two centimeters in height !
In the Summer 1933 catalog, for the first time Petit Bob is shown in red, almost totally front viewÉwhich allows us to notice that it buttons always back to front, that the half belt, on which we can't always see if it has or doesn't always have gold buttons matching those in the front, is always present. The same price, the same fabric, always mentioning the scarfÉAnd this summer Bleuette measures 29 cm.

Été 1934
Nothing different again in the catalog of Winter 1933/34, the collar always the same, shawl. The scarf, always for sale is not presented with it any more but it appears farther along, as we notice, with accessories (under the umbrella!). In Summer 1934 nothing about our "Petit Bob" changes, always presented in red in the last catalog drawn by Maggie Salcedo.
In the Winter 1934/1935 catalog, the first drawn by Manon Iessel, the drawings allow us to see that the half belt still has buttons, that the small loose fitting jacket buttons always left to right but the small collar, turned-up this time, frames the little face.

Note that on the drawing (to the left) the garment buttons "à la garçonne" (as a boy), but that on " Petit Bob " realized (to the right), the buttoning is very feminine ! ! !

Été 1935

Hiver 35/36

And a novelty in the Summer of 1935, even though we are in summer, gaiters cover the legs but are not mentioned anywhere. One looks for them in vain. No price, colors or fabric.
Winter 1935/1936, and there it is clear that the half belt with the two gold buttons is always there, crossing the box pleat at the middle of the back (which was never an opening). Even there, it is shown worn with long gaiters of which one does not find any trace in the sales catalog.
The summer 1936 does not teach us anything, same price, same presentation, but we are in summer and gaiters are not worn by Bleuette.
In the Winter 1936/1937 catalog is the same description, always wool velvet, navy or bright red, and the same price - 16 Fr - as at the time of its creation in 1931. But although we are in winter, it is not shown with the gaiters which are seen on the following page worn with "Grand Chic". Nevertheless it is cold! Bleuette dressed in Petit Bob gets ready for the snow, surrounded with a suitcase, with skis and poles, hatboxÉNote that this catalog is designed by Maggie Salcedo, it is her last one.

 

In Summer 1937, eternally dressed in her adorable red "Petit Bob", Bleuette added to it the famous gaiters while we are in summer ! But it may be cool and rain threatens because the mischievous little dog stole her umbrella which she tries to get back !


And there, for the first time, Petit Bob increases in price, oh ! Not much, only 1 Fr, making it 17Fr (NB: always not explanation or way to purchase the gaiters!)

And the next winter, 1937/1938, one notes a new increase: +1.35 Fr, the set is 18.35 franc

The next summer, 1938, nothing has changed except there is another price increase! It goes to 19.50 Fr! That is to say 3.50 Fr increase which represents about 30% of the original price!!! And it is not finished !

Winter 1938/1939, nothing changes, except the price again increases: 21 Fr. Presented with gaiters, it is evident that if the children can acquire these last ones, probably in the boutique, it will be an important addition.


Had the price been too high? In Summer 1939, the price comes down in a significant way, 18 Fr, when we are on the eve of the war. The catalog following, Winter 1939/1940 presents it exactly the same and the same price as six months before, 18 Fr.


But in Summer 1940, it rises 1 Fr, to 19 Fr, and is presented only in navy (and without gaiters, but it is summer).
And in the little catalog of Winter 1940-1941, if it is not shown any more, it still exists: the same description, in navy, and it costs 19.50 Fr.
The same for the catalog of Summer1941.
For winter 1941/1942, as in the previous three catalogs, it is not pictured any more but it is still there, the material is not clarified any more, the wool velvet disappeared. Always in " navy " but..... 21.90 Fr. A large but inevitable price increase! Indeed, France being occupied and " La Semaine de Suzette " prohibited from publication since June 1940, these little catalogs are true miracles and difficult to purchase. Until now our Bleuette was still shown in the publication " Les Veillées des Chaumières " ( the Evenings of Thatched cottages ), but it will no longer be so!.... This small catalog is moreover the last before : .....

To be continued in our next issue
 
Hélène BUGAT-PUJOL
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