Minuscules et Lilliputiens

by Samy ODIN

Chaque couple est à l'échelle d'une allumette de 4,40 cm.

Among " mignonnettes " everything in biscuit, those that measure less than 8 cms .

They have names suggestive of their scale :

- " Minuscules "

- " Lilliputiens"

On the left : A trio of Lilliputiens "colored" 6 cm.

Nain Bleu - Circa 1915 / 192O




Down : Three kind Minuscules, 2 cm.

Carl Horn - circa 191O



" Minuscules " were mainly of German origin, the most known come from the factory from Carl Horn to Dresden. Articulated in shoulders and in hips, they have the united head of the trunk with a molded head of hair and painted features.

Their size varies between 2 and 4 cms. Feet often have shoes painted in black, more rarely in yellow or barefoot. The majority of these small letters represent the Caucasian race, rarer are the specimens of colour.

In spite of their tiny size, they are often dressed in the hook, sometimes with force details, what makes them considerable from the point of view of the collection. Those" mignonnettes " touching date the end of XIX-th century in 1930's. The most former are in traditional biscuit, the most recent in biscuit raw painted. The cotton clothes broken, of traditional or rustic inspiration, are as very feminine as male.


The " Lilliputiens "


Punch and Judy. - Au Nain Bleu - 6 cm. - Circa 1910

The " Lilliputiens " can be considered as "French": although made probably in Germany they were assembled and were dressed in Paris region. As they do not have brand, it is difficult to attribute them with certainty to such or such manufacturer, the only explicit document in their respect is the catalog of the SFBJ dated 1912, but in consulting the catalogs of New Year's gifts of department stores, one notices that one already made it in the XIX-th century. One knows especially sizes in 6 and 8 centimeters, but it exists there also of smaller.

These qualitative " mignonnettes " have a full head wearing wig in mohair or in absorbent cotton, the articulated neck,the trunk and

the members half-articulated in biscuit, the features of the face finely painted and the shoes painted in blue (mostly) or in yellow

(more rarely).



Their clothes are of the most varied: they as well touch the traditional tradition as the historic or grotesque disguises, by way

of town suits or suits of foreign countries. There are moreover " Lilliputiens " in complexions black, mulatto or Asiatic.

Their packaging could be luxurious, such this couple of

" pierrots " contained in a beautiful box bound in glazed

window adorned with paper set of table linen gilded.


The famous luxury toy department " Le Nain Bleu " sold it, naturally, quite as the main Parisian Department stores.


In 1911, " Le Louvre ", for example, proposed this article "Reserved" under the naming " Nations

mignonnettes varied suits, in a beautiful box. 2 dolls 1,45F, 5 dolls 2,90F, 10 dolls 5,75F, 20 dolls 10,75F ".


For the curious and the enthusiasts of " very " small dolls, around thirty these cute is at present presented

to the public in the permanent rooms of the " Musee de la Poupee - Paris " (impasse Berthaud, in the 3-rd district)

among some 500 other French dating dolls from 1800 till 2000.




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