Identifying a French Doll?

Is anyone out there familiar with this type of doll? I bought it in the south of France. The body is stuffed with possibly sand? It has a full fabric body with a china head. I've looked for marks, etc., but found none. I am interested in identifying it, its age, anything I can find.

Any info gratefully received. I've learnt things from my last post thank you!

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

If there are no marks, it could be a mass-produced doll, or a doll made from a kit. Neither one would sell for a lot.

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

This doll looks like some dolls I was given when I was young. My mother's friends when they traveled in Europe would bring me back dolls very similar to these. They were sold in boutiques throughout the region and were mass produced.


These types of dolls were souviniers and nothing more than that. They were sort of fun to get and just keep in a box under my bed. You could see how they dressed in the different regions. I was never much of a doll person and just kept the dolls that people gave me in a box under the bed.

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

Thats interesting & than you for your reply, Im learning so much from your comments. Could I ask a rough age of the doll please, that would be helpful.

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August 20, 20191 found this helpful

Can you offer some more details?

What year was it purchased?

Was it purchased from a store or street market?

Is that measurement 23 inches or centimeters?

You say that it may be filled with sand--what does it feel like--like does the filling shift and if you try to sit it and goes into a sitting position because the sand moves?


Does the hat come off and what is the hair made from?

The doll has me super curious!

I am just starting my studies of French dolls and this one does not fit the stereotypical French doll look, which (in the very valuable vintage ones) are very pale and dressed in very feminine clothing.

She/he? is quite rustic and almost primitive. The wicker style farmer hat is also is not something I associate with a French doll...but more of an Asian style doll. Similar hat shapes were frequent in Japanese and Chinese dolls...typically those doing field work like harvesting rice.

I wonder if she was handmade in a village that perhaps was a farming town (grape picking?) and depicted the typical attire of someone in that town during the time you purchased it or back in history, which would be to the point that poehere stated.


I was looking over the details and to me the doll looks hand made, vs. machine made. Handmade in that a person cut the patterns and did machine stitching vs. it being made on a factory line. Factory made dolls are typically very precise and everything is even, no puckers.

What caught my eye on this thought is that clothing seams around the collar are very uneven and do not math at the corners, and there are some puckers on some of the other seams.

If it was a village made, tourist doll, you may never know the artist, but you may be able to point it to the region where it came and era (maybe not exact year).

You can do this by taking the year you bought it and then looking at French culture during that time and backwards.

I will look for more info when I hear back from you. Thanks for sharing!

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your comprehensive answer, I was so pleased to receive your message. In order to answer your questions.


1. 2019 purchased from a car boot sale here in Languedoc, where I live.
2. Measurements 23cm from back of head to feet
3. Yes I took the clothes off & moved the legs & it went to a sitting position & stayed there.
4. The hat doesn't come off although I have taken it off as curious myself. The hair seems to be made of fabric that has a backing (so possibly modern?) Also the head swivels on the shoulders of the body!
5. Yes the doll would have been in the attire of the workers as you correctly said as Languedoc is one of the most important wine regions in the world.
I do believe the doll is handmade as the clothes are machine stitched but Ive turned the trousers inside out and they are very crudely stitched (although better than I could do!)
Like you said it does have an oriental look about it.
Whatever it was it was cherished as its trousers were extremely sun faded on the front and bright green inside!

I hope I have shed some light on your curiosity, Its an amazing country and I love it and its way of life.
Good luck with your studies :)

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