Amongst doll collectors, Jumeau dolls are some of the most highly prized dolls ever produced. Jumeau were the leading company of French doll making in the second half of the 19th Century. This period is often considered to be the height of doll making; the point at which techniques and tools had become sufficiently advanced to make beautifully crafted, long lasting dolls, but before the cheap mass production techniques became widely used and pushed dolls into lower price, lower quality production らぶどーる .

The early history of doll making in Europe was almost entirely dominated by Germany. The organised production of dolls in Europe had itself begun in Germany. The Germans had innovated doll making in the fifteenth century. This gave them a head start which they took full advantage of. German makers continued to dominate doll making in Europe for many years. Indeed, at the time the Jumeau company was founded, the European doll industry was ruled by German companies such as Simon & Halbig and Armand Marseille.

Against the backdrop of German domination, a small doll making business was set up by Francios Jumeau and his business partner Louis Desire Belton (who left the firm a few years later). Jumeau began manufacturing dolls in 1841. Initially, they made dolls from papier mache and then porcelain.

These dolls were not the dolls with baby like features that we associate with dolls today. These were ‘fashion ladies’ or ‘poupees’ which had the proportions of adult women. The big attraction of these French dolls, and the advantage they had over the German dolls of the time, was their exquisite clothes. These clothes were based on the top Paris fashions of the time and were often made of the same materials and to the same specifications.

The early stages of the Jumeau company came to an end in 1874 when leadership of the Jumeau company was passed on to Emile Louis Jumeau. By this point, the Jumeau doll company was highly regarded and becoming one of the most successful doll manufacturers in the world. Emile Jumeau would take the company to the stage of the greatest doll makers ever.