In the last century, it is well known, the small girls borned in the pinks and the little boys in cabbages! The storks ensured the delivery !

And our dolls? It is a good question ...........

Well, in big factories, a little bit blackish, with high fireplace, often enormous, very industrial factories, of whom they went out with a complexion of peach !

We have the privilege to possess numerous invoices which reveal us the registry office of some of them, their place of conception and birth, the great department store Métayer of Besançon in which they were waited with the aim of an adoption for Christmas or another holiday.


In France, we know that the S.F.B.J. is the result of the fusion of some of these factories, in particular the most famous at the time for the quality and the beauty of their fabrication, Jumeau, , Eden Bébé F.Gaultier, Paul Girard and his Bebes Bru etc.... to quote only those here.


The most ancient invoice in our ownership of December 5 and 6, 1905, is not however an invoice of the S.F.B.J. but of the Factory of Lunéville's toys, the Villard - Weill & Cie whose house in Paris was 20 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, with a capital of 760.000 Fr-Or of time, what is not anything, but well retain this number to make comparison following. So It sent at Métayer Store of Besançon for 96,30 Fr-Or of Patiences, Automobiles, Construction, Grocer's shops, Arcs, Cats, Dogs, Asses, Operas etc....

And the invoice which follows it, also very ancient, is of the S.F.B.J. which we shall not leave any more during a long moment. One can only admire its presentation that names its most prestigious Associates and shows the numerous medals obtained in various French or foreign World Fairs, gold or silver, all printed in a very beautiful dark green on white paper at the time, today a little bit yellowish brown..




And this first invoice sends to its customer of Besançon different size of " Eden-Bébé " by half dozen or dozen ! Articulated, Characters ( always by 1/4 of dozen or 1/2 dozen ), Walkers, Dressed, Dressed wood, Babies - shirts (  poupards, Rajah ( ! ) Clowns, Buffoons, Promenettes, Puppet theatres, various outfits ( always by dozen, 1/2 or 1/4 of these ! ) the whole for a total of 581 Fr- Or.

This invoice of October 26, 1910 is followed by the other one on the next December 7. One sees representing there wigs Thibet, "Articulated ( 3 )", dozen Characters, Shoes and still Shoes by dozens and in different sizes, still Wig this time in natural hair, " washable heads ", " fine heads ", 2 dozens of " Mignonnettes ", 2 dozen "Negress" for a total of 270,90 Fr-Or......We believe to dream ....


On these two invoices a discount of 2 % was made for this excellent customer that was Mister Métayer, probably Director of this Besançon's department store which we could compare, as we were said to me, to Parisian Galeries Lafayette or B.H.V.

On an invoice of the next year where the Babies are sent, even there, by dozens for a sum 220,95 Fr-Or, we can read : - - - - - - - ->

And till the end of 1911, invoices are drafted in the ink black, with the hand, of a beautiful cursive writing which we so well learned then the republican school..


Regrettably we do not possess this notice which has of to leave countable service for the workshops of assembly and repairs which this store seemed to make if we well detail sendings.

Indeed, in 1911 , several invoices show the sending either of a pair of hands by post office (cost 20 Fr-Or) or of wigs, or rubber..



But the firm gets modernized and equips itself with a typewriter which writes in blue or in purple. The first which we possess, dated March 26, 1912 tells the sending of a " Fine Head n ° 4, coiff. sewn (put on, I suppose, but why sewn? ) and of one " Head Character Poilé n ° 135, Size 2 ".

Before leaving this first model of invoice, let us observe it very well : the S.F.B.J. is a corporation with an enormous capital for the time of 4.180.000 Fr-OR ! ! ! The head office is the 8 of the street " Pastourelle ", there even where was the so famous House Jumeau. But it has two other branches, one in 160 Street Picpus and the third in 6 Street Montempoivre. These two addresses are surmounted with 6 golden or silver medals going from 1878 ( Jumeau ) to 1900 (S.F.B.J.). Awards a diploma of honor, out competition naturally, the other exhibitors having any chance at this moment there to align themself in front of this trust.


Dolls were forwarded by wood box in Besançon's station, replacement parts sent by the post office. Finally, and it is funny, the telegraphic address of the S.F.B.J. was " PARISBEBE-PARIS "


And in 1913, the model of invoice changes. Less luxurious, black and white simply, rewards and medals are evoked but do not appear any more and throughout this year are sent only replacement parts. Until December 18, in week of Christmas, where a more enriched invoice, of a high amount of 56,55 Fr-Or, mentions Babies, "Character" Heads , wigs half a dozen front arm ( we shall return there ).


On April 6 following, in 1914 , a parcel of a head 237 Taille / 4 " Poilée ", for 2 " 236 " with flat hairstyle. ( Ah ! it is the proof that there was many hairstyles wavy or curled for this Baby ! )



And there invoices jump from April, 1914 till March, 1915, in full war.

After this date, they are sent to Madam or still to Miss Métayer who take so the relai without loosing courage in the adversity : disease, appeal under flags? In the absence, which will be temporary, of Mister Métayer, the house has to turn. And a beautiful order by dozens and half-dozens of bare Babies etc....

Of return in 1915, Mister Métayer resumes his orders of provision of heads, feet ( ? ) and hands.


If invoices sent by the S.F.B.J. were white, assets in box of its customers were on pink paper, depictions which the S.F.B.J. resumed without problem.



The Store Métayer had no for only supplier S.F.B.J. So, just before the first world war, we find several invoices of 1911 and 1914 " Fleischmann and Bloedel " successor J. Berlin ( !....that does not invent ! ) delivering several dozens different baigneurs, boats and the other toys as well since Sonneberg in Thuringia as Fuerth in Bavaria or still of its factory and shop 123 Faubourg Saint Martin in Paris.

And then, we enter the war which settles down durably alas..... The last contact with the S.F.B.J. long before, we find it in an illegible handwritten, signed letter regrettably of August 14, 1915 which acknowledges receipt of a postal order of 9 Fr credited at the expense of Mister Métayer. ( There, it is voluntarily that I content mentioning Fr for prices, Franc - gold, i.e the stability of the value of the currency, goes away naturally because of events ).

Any exchange between the S.F.B.J. and Mister Métayer until 1921 according to the documents that we have.

1* )

However, the Métayer Firm continues to exploit its business. Himself, his wife or his daughter continues to stock up with toys but somewhere else.

So " Maison E.Foucault ", 15 Rue Béranger in Paris sends on April 23, 1917 toys of boys, sabres notably.


The other one, " Les Jeux Réunis, 3 Rue des Haudriettes in Paris 3° °, sends them an invoice not detailed with 100,60 franc " La Fabrication Parisienne de Jouets Bourrés Armand Weill " sends on December 11, 1918 a beautiful assortment of Bears, Monkeys, Japanese Snacks, Canteens of La Manufacture de Sèvres etc..... And it is interesting to notice that this house is taken up residence, also, as the S.F.B.J. in 8 Rue Pastourelle. In front of the difficulties which it met, the S.F.B.J. had had to rent or sell (?) a part of this building formerly Jumeau. Let us not forget that Salomon Fleischmann fled France and found refuge in Spain during this period.....



In June, 1919, " Les Bébés de France " 14 Rue Drouot, sends three times 1/3 of dozen ( 4 of every so ) "Articulated" red Dress, squared Dress, red Chaperon and an unbreakable ( ? ) head, all delivered in Besançon's station.


In August, 1919, it is " Cie Lyonnaise de construction de voitures et de jouets d'enfant " who sends carts.




And also the " Manufacture de Lunéville Villard & Weill " which possesses a branch in Paris 20 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth delivers in September, 1919.


" Au Perroquet " , " factory of toys of yesterday and of always " send to 1920 not less than 15 " Ornis " in four different models. ( I do not know what are the Ornis ( in French : Perroquets maybe )



Finally the " Manufacture Gerbaulet Frères ", 35/37 Rue de Turenne Paris 3 °, sends by rail 3 dozens devils boxes !! The dozen being worth 12 franc.

But there we are on January 22, 1922...

Let us return in the exit of this horrible war, the big, the terrible war at the beginning of which had been created the label UNIFRANCE so that the buyers know the origin of the proposed products, from the French manufactures and not imported from Germany.


We possess an interesting invoice on December 16, 1920, of the " Manufacture de Bébés Marcoux " eloquent in this matter.

See, stamped to the left roughly "  Société Française des Bébés Marcoux  ". And note also the two logos opposite in face where "Bébés Marcoux" term floats on a French flag. We do not know anything what it sends to Besançon for 1190 Fr and by rail, but this invoice speaks us about many of the French toys....



It seems that until second world war, the model of invoice adopted during the first did not change. The last one in our ownership dates 1933 and is sent to another storekeeper in dolls - toys of La Baule ( Bretagne ). There, two unbreakable heads, 2 goat wigs , 1 pair of legs and several pairs of hands of different sizes. But presentation is exactly the same, always the same so, exceptly the ribbon which must be changed. Purple and not blue !



Then the war occurs...! Since 1945 the businesses begin again gently, but the restrictions and lacks remain. Thus Petitcollin can provide Babies... but does not have what to pack them !

<-----read on the left



The one invoice of S.F.B.J. at present in our ownership and dating after to second world war is of December 14, 1948. New and more than sober presentation even though the references which contribute to sold always are still there but discreet: Jumeau, Eden Baby, Bru. Medals are not even more mentioned. We can read 3 times 4 details Art. ( Articulated? ) sent for a total of 14.038 F.

If we recapitulate the number of Manufactures and Factories quoted in this study, far from being exhaustive naturally, we notice that except the famous S.F.B.J. , many of the other houses of toys existed for biggest happiness of the children.

Speaking up to you of replacement parts sent with the aim of repairs, I enjoy drawing your attention on the fact that certain collectors exclaim sometimes: " Oh! It is an assembly, she had hands changed, the rubber is not of origin, the wig is not good, it is not its leg etc.....! And nevertheless, we have so certainly met some dolls in this situation but where we were not probably able to anything reveal because repair was very ancient . Have we them under estimated for all that?

Poupendol is happy to give by means of the net the information which you were able to discover and read above. The story of the doll has not yet delivered all its secrets which we continue to discover, by looking a little everywhere it is true. It needs a lot of tenacity, time, and to feel for her a real interest close to the affection. It is to say to you that we did not stop maintaining you !




( 1* )To know the story of the S.F.B.J. during this hard period, I send back you and advise you deeply a small black opuscule, published Editions Polichinelle entitled  " Août 1914 ", writed by Mister Varenne-Caillard who replaced, at a moment's notice, Salomon Fleischmann who had fled France and had taken refuge in Spain.




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