From it's beginning in 1899 to it's end in 1957, the SFBJ manufactured hundreds of thousands of bisque dolls in a wide variety of sizes and molds.
One of the earliest was the Eden Bebe, which director Fleischmann brought with him to the newly formed society. Eden Bebes' heads were manufactured in Germany, but have French-made bodies of wood and composition, or in the case of 5-piece bodies, all composition. The larger sizes have open mouths with teeth, while the smallest have closed mouths. The mouth paint color has an orange tint. They have a small chin dimple, and a molded eyelid line, with slanted painted eyelashes. Their sizes range from the tiny 14/0 to size 6 or larger. Both even and odd numbers have been found, but the even numbers are most common. SFBJ Eden Bebes do not have pierced ears, and their eyes are set, reflecting their time period of late 1899 to about 1914. The SFBJ heads have no trademark, just a size number. Earlier Fleischmann & Blodel molds were often marked "Eden Bebe, Paris", and the size number; some have a registration mark. Composition heads were also made, but it is unknown if they were of German or French manufacture.
The S.F.B.J. made dolls in France and also assembled dolls with both French and German sourced parts. By the 1920s, it is generally believed that production was centred in France. While the S.F.B.J. may have always struggled with German doll makers for the lucrative United States toy trade, it claimed to sell well in France, the French colonies, South American and Australian markets. Its dolls were made of many materials including bisque, composition and early plastics - in the later years of the firm.
The S.F.B.J made dolls from fine to cheap qualities and also had a large, well-equipped dressmaking branch. There were many different moulds including character dolls modelled after real children and dolls designed by French artists. S.F.B.J. dolls were used for tourist souvenirs as well as children's toys. The popular Bleuette dolls were one of its most high profiled products.
What's your Sfbj worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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