Bleuette Dolls - Years of Production:
Bleuette commenced production in 1905 and was produced continuously until 1960.
Sizes of Bleuette Dolls:
Because Bleuette dolls were created to be sewn for by French girls, the size of Bleuette dolls is standardized. From 1905 to 1933, Bleuette dolls were 10 5/8" tall. After 1933, the dolls were 11 3/8" tall.
Early Bleuette dolls always have bisque heads, with dolls made later having composition heads. All Bleuettes have fully-jointed composition bodies.
Companies That Have Produced Bleuette Dolls:
S.F.B.J, Fleishmann and Blodel (through S.F.B.J) and UNIS, France all produced Bleuette dolls.
La Semaine De Suzette:
Bleuette was born specifically to be a premium for little girls who bought a subscription to “La Semaine de Suzette,” a popular magazine for French girls. The magazine offered Bleuette to all subscribers, and promised patterns for her in each issue. Over the years, many hundreds of patterns were created for Bleuette.
Price Trends For Bleuette Dolls:
Bleuette has become immensely popular with antique and vintage doll collectors who love to sew. The incredible variety of patterns produced for the doll through "La Semaine de Suzette" has certainly fueled Bleuette's popularity, but her perfect size for costuming has also contributed. Prices for Bleuettes have skyrocketed in recent years, with many early dolls bringing several thousand dollars at auctions and on eBay, and original Gautier-Languereau outfits bringing several hundred.
More About Bleuette Dolls:
Bleuette is certainly one of the "it" dolls of the early 21st century! Although she is a particularly French creation of the 20th century, she has found legions of modern fans in the United States. Over 1,000 patterns have been printed for Bleutte by "La Semaine de Suzette," and this has definitely contributed to Bleutte's immense popularity with doll collectors and dollmakers who love to sew. Since many antique and vintage doll collectors cannot afford the original Bleuettes, many talented dollmakers have created detailed reproductions of the dolls which can themselves sell for several hundred dollars each.
At doll conventions, separate Bleuette get-togethers and events are frequently held, and a magazine about Bleuette, "Bleuette's World" is published bi-monthly in the United States.
Identifying Bleuette is done mostly through the size of the doll as well as the markings of the doll, which include the SFBJ 301, SFBJ 60, UNIS France 301, and UNIS France 60 marks; bodies are generally marked with 2 on the torso of the doll and 1 on the sole of the feet. Collectors often forget that all dolls of Bleuette's size produced by S.F.B.J and UNIS France are not Bleuettes.
Most Bleuette collectors collect Bleuette as a fashion doll such as Barbie would be collected, by collecting Bleuette's clothing and accessories and/or sewing her additional clothing. Only time will tell if the immense popularity of Bleuette will continue, or if she is a "fad."