Monday, June 18, 2012

"Mlle Josette"

"Gone to a new home!!"

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying the warm weather.  I just got back from a family reunion in Florida, so have to get extra busy now to prepare for the National Doll Festival in New Orleans next month.  Mademoiselle Josette is my latest creation.  She represents a "free woman of color" in New Orleans from the 1830's.  The free people of color, or "les gens de couleur libre"  were a very refined and educated society in New Orleans and the young ladies of this group were reknowned for their beauty and charm.  Most of them had one white parent and white grandparents, so they were known as quadroons or octoroons. They were strictly raised and educated in Catholic schools.  Some of them formed relationships with wealthy white planters.  As Louisiana law forbid marriages between whites and the free blacks, these women were basically mistresses. They were provided with homes, and any children born of the relationship were provided for and sometimes took the man's name.  This unique arrangement was called "placage" and was very common in New Orleans up until the 1850's.  Ann Rice's novel, "The Feast of All Saints" is a wonderful book telling the tale of a family of free Blacks in New Orleans in the 1800's.
    Josette is made of cloth and her face is sculpted of paper clay and then oil painted.  Her hands have individually wired fingers, and are also oil painted.  Her hairdo has been fashioned of wool roving.
Josette's beautiful two piece dress is made of bridal white silk dupionni with arrow-shaped trim of lavendar and white, with pearl gimp.  Her collar is a piece of antique lace, and the front of the dress is trimmed with small lavendar silk bows.  Her beautiful underthings are fine white cotton and cotton laces, and embroidered in a delicate pink design.  Josette's shoes are handmade of soft cream-colored leather with lavendar silk ties.   She stands about 23" tall. 
    Most of the dolls on this blog site are for sale!!  If you are interested in purchasing any of them, please Email me at