Vintage Bleuettes

Rosette, Bleuette's Big Sister

How She Began

Rosette is the 35 cm doll who was introduced by Gautier-Languereau Publications as a sister to Bleuette.  Mentioned for the first time in La Semaine de Suzette on January 6, 1955, in a Bleuette pattern, she was said to be her "Big Sister."

On January 27, 1955, La Semaine de Suzette published the first advertisement for the "big sister of Bleuette," describing her as a completely plastic doll with rayon hair and sleep eyes.  She was available dressed in a cotton print chemise, no shoes, for 1.250 French francs.  The choices of hair color in the rayon wig
were blonde, brunette, or chestnut.


On February 10, 1955, Bleuette's big sister was called "Big Bleuette," again with rayon hair at the cost of 1.250 francs.

On April 7, 1955, "Big Bleuette," height 35 cms, was mentioned as fully articulated with either an unbreakable pasteboard or porcelain head, and human or rayon hair.  She was sold for 1.80 to 2.25 francs, depending on the head.

Finally, on July 7th, 1955, "Big Bleuette" became " Rosette," without any new characteristics or change in price.

Characteristics of Rosette

Rosette is a fully articulated doll with either a porcelain head or an unbreakable pasteboard head, blue sleep eyes, mohair eyelashes, curled rayon or braided human hair wig with bangs, in chestnut, brown, or blonde. 

Rosette was made by the SFBJ using their 301 mold, and is marked "Unis France, 301, 3" and is 35 cms tall from head rim to toes.  She was made taller than the standard 33 cm size 3 Unis France mold 301 by adding longer thighs to the usual legs. She also has a slightly longer neck.

Rosette was made only from 1955 to 1957, when the SFBJ closed its doll-making facilities.  Because few were made, Rosette is not very well known and often goes unrecognized. Collectors may confuse her with the usual Unis France 301 in size 3, who also has a head, body, and feet marked 3.   The length of the thighs is the most telling characteristic of Rosette.  They are 85 mm (3 & 3/8 inches) long as opposed to a regular size 3 who has 52 mm (about 2") thighs.  Like Bleuette, she was made in a size specific to Gautier-Languereau for the readers of La Semaine de Suzette.

Rosette's Two Wardrobes

Rosette could be dressed by sewing for her from the patterns published in La Semaine de Suzette starting in January of 1955, when a petticoat pattern explained that one may "utilize this pattern [for Rosette] with the adjustment of one centimeter added to the length of the skirt."  In March 1955, issue 14, another pattern, "Un Nouveau Tablier" suggests the same alteration if using it for Rosette.  Starting in 1956 all patterns published in La Semaine de Suzette were made with cutting lines for both Bleuette and Rosette, and these continued to the final pattern on 21 January, 1960. 

 

1959 Une veste pour les Bleuettes et Rosette qui sera utile cet été, en voyage

1959 A jacket for Bleuettes and Rosette will be useful this summer, for travel

Meanwhile, in January 1955, from the offices of G-L Publications, readers were offered four fashionable garments for sale for the new big sister of Bleuette--the winter dresses "Allure," "Canasta," and "Petite Beaute," as well as a grey and white checked wool coat and beret, "Depart."  These were just the first of many matching Rosette & Bleuette fashions, so big and little sister could dress alike.  Bambino also had matching little boy costumes to coordinate with his sisters.  In the Spring 1955 G-L catalog, the illustrations showed Rosette, Bleuette, and Bambino, and offered a nice selection for all three.  The catalogs continued to do so until the final one, which was the Winter 1959/1960 catalog.