Bebe, bebe...!?


"べべ"という言葉が最初に人形に使われたのは、1855年の万国博覧会でピエール・フランソワ・ジュモーが、日本人形タイプのワックスドールを出品した時でした。またスタイナーは、彼の人形 "ジゴター"に、”パパ、ママとおしゃべりするべべ”と使いました。(そして興味深いのは、その当時ジュモー社がスタイナーの"べべ・ジゴター"を販売していたことです)




The term "bebe" is a french word which appeared at first at the end of the 18th century, and more exactly in 1793, in the Robert's dictionary. At the origin, the meaning was  "a new born child".
The term "bebe" appeared for the first time in the doll trade at the 1855 Universal Exposition where it was applied for the "japanese style" dolls made of wax and proposed by Pierre Francois JUMEAU. Later, J.N. Steiner used this term for his "Gigoteur" doll, "the Bebe that say papa-mama"….At that period, the Christmas gift catalogs made already a clear distinction between the term of "poupee" (a miniature representation of a woman) and the term of "bebe" (a miniature representation of a children). The STEINER and SCHMITT companies were the first to develop this new doll market…
Circa the 1880's, this term was definitively popularized under the influence of Emile-Louis-Jumeau to refer to an older doll child (between 2 and 8 years old) with his "Triste" model, executed by the sculptor Carrier-Belleuse and directly inspired by Henri de Navarre at the age of 4.
Circa1883, the "BRU" firm focused also on this type of older bebe and designed a new face.