Historically, the boudoir was a room designated from a private suite of rooms of a "Lady" or one who held an upper social class. It was used for bathing and dressing and was located next to the bedchamber.
|Jean Harlow in her dressing room|
During the Victorian era and early in the 20th century, more elaborate homes designated the boudoir as an evening sitting room for activities such as sewing or embroidery, or accepting gentleman callers.
The more elaborate homes with social prestige would include a boudoir as a separate room, as she would also have a morning room, and a dressing room.
The Boudoir Doll Craze
During the mid 1920's, commonly called the "Jazz Age", the U.S and European and American women were preoccupied with dolls, and this time of collecting, has been referred to as the "Doll Craze". Boudoir dolls, also known as "Poupee" dolls were a "must have" for every fashionable woman. These dolls were a decorative accessory to their dressing room and not to be used as a toy.
According to "The Jazz Age Club", The Poupee dolls ranged in size, any where from 14" to 32". The website "Jazz Age Club" writes, "Generically the dolls were called by various names that to some extent still endure today : art, portrait, boudoir, art deco, flapper, vamp, bed, smoker, salon or parlor dolls. These new dolls were different to what had been produced before as they were characterized by ornate, long limbs. long thin bodies, little hands and less ‘doll’ like, or ‘child’ like features or expressions; they had a stylized rather than a realistic appearance."
"The dolls varied in size from 24″ – 32″ with smaller dolls averaging 14″ – 18″ and were made out of a variety of media. The heads were usually of composition (sawdust mixed with a staying agent such as sugar water or starch placed in a mould) or of cloth or felt and some hands, feet and bodies were of composition too. Most of the bodies were soft of cloth or felt and stuffed with cotton. The composition heads were beautifully painted with blush and eye shadow, ‘bee stung’ red lips and even beauty marks. Hair was human, camel, mohair or silk strands." - Source: thejazzageclub.com
"There were hundreds of different styles and treatments that followed exotic, historical, theatrical, foreign, fantasy or mythological themes. More popular inspiration came from the Eighteenth century of the French court and Marie Antoinette, the Elizabethan or early Georgian period, the romantic styles of the 1840s, Napoleon’s first empire, Pier rot, Harlequin, and Commedia figures from the Italian theatre, contemporary flappers with cigarettes, harem girls and flamenco or Apache dancers." Source: thejazzageclub.com
"The trend of adopting these dolls appears to have started with the theatrical profession when dolls were created imitating great actresses and some actresses gave these portrait dolls to their co-workers. Later, they spread to society at large. As one contemporary commentator observed ‘we must have our little fads, otherwise life would jog along in too monotonous a fashion.’ Seemingly, most people ordered dolls for their own amusement. They were regarded as funny and their owners like to laugh at them and show them of to their friends. But equally they symbolized the rise of the new woman and epitomized a feminine dream of an adventurous, glamorous and more exciting new life." - Source: thejazzageclub.com
***All images were found on Pinterest.com
under the key words search "boudoir dolls".***