Established in 1927 in New York City, Eugenia Poir produced specialty cloth dolls under the direction of her partner Alvin Gray. The company was also part of The French Dollmakers. The dolls were initially designed and produced in France and are mostly between 16 and 23.5 inches tall. However, the company ceased operations in 1935. The dolls were made of cloth, usually with pressed felt or cloth, and cotton bodies. These were also jointed at the neck, hip and shoulder areas and also had a distinguishable protruding section at the front and rear of the lower torso. The facial features were painted and had eyes from the side.
Another distinctive feature of his felt dolls were their dotted eyebrows. The upper lashes were made of real lashes while the lower ones were painted. The mouth was also heart-shaped on its felt face. All cotton versions had eyelashes painted on top and bottom with eyebrows painted in a single stroke. He still had the same side-painted eyes, but the difference can be seen in his height, as the cotton ones came in 17 or 18 inches. A seam running from front to back down the center of the doll‘s body is another indicator of Gre-Poir’s cotton version of the doll.
Cotton doll disc joints were also found in the jointed areas of the neck, hip, and shoulders. Most of the dolls came with mitten-like hands with some stitching on the fingers. Gre-Poir dolls were stuffed with excelsior or straw and their hair could be blonde or red mohair. Her hair came in various styles such as curly, bob cut, and wavy. The dolls wore socks with three stripes on top on some of the models and these were paired with Mary Jane shoes.
Most of the dolls also had cardboard or cloth hang tags labeled “French doll Makers” that were imprinted with the mark “French doll Makers / doll Name / My hair can be washed / I can be dry cleaned “. Another interesting addition in her doll series were smoking and musical boudoir dolls wearing fashionable clothes and stylish accessories.
Those who are interested in collecting the Gre-Poir dolls may have to search the internet and auctions to find these rare collectibles. These cloth and felt dolls need special care and perhaps because of their natural fiber materials, made Gre-Poir’s creations one of the most difficult dolls to find today.