Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scottish Lass & Gypsy Pirate "Pantin" Paper Dolls

Today as I continue my series on French "Pantin" Jumping-Jack
 Paper Dolls I have two more fun figures to add to the collection. 

A Dancing Scottish Lass & A Gypsy Pirate 

Both figures are adaptations I've created using vintage images 
of jointed paper dolls that were produced in France in the 1800's
A nice selection of vintage "Pantin" paper dolls can be seen - HERE

The Scottish Lass "Dancing Doll"

Scottish Lass Dancing Paper Doll the makeover version by EKDuncan
This is my "cleaned" up version of the original vintage paper doll 
that can be seen on my previous post - HERE with her other playmates.
She was part of a sheet of 6 "Pantin" paper dolls.

And Here is what she looked like prior to restoration.

The original Lass is from a sheet posted by the generous Pilllpat (Agence Eureka) on Flickr - HERE
The inexpensive, mass-produced "Pantin" paper dolls that were printed on paper 
similar to news-sheets were not what would be termed "quality goods".
Due to the low cost and quick printing process of these sheets, it was not uncommon for there to be runny ink or inaccurate ink overlaps between the image and the color layer.  
Another issue was the lack of detailing on the faces; that caused them to appear "flat"

Occasionally deluxe versions of individual dolls or sets were created by a quality printer. The upscale "Pantins" were sold at book sellers/print shops and those dolls can be quite stunning.  
My goal was to give these more "common" dolls a look similar to those "quality" versions
 that would have been sold in upscale shops of their day and I think the makeovers went well.

Here are a few digital png images of created to show some of the poses you can create.

When these "Pantins" were originally created, what you saw is what you got; but with technology we can take it so many steps further.  I like to create digitally, so I've chosen to make digital dolls that I can flip and reverse direction at will like the middle doll shows. I like to have a few "extra" parts to play with so I can give her a great pose like the first doll shows - that required two duplicate arms.

My version of the doll has her "spruced up" and looking pretty. The stray ink has been removed and the uncolored areas have been corrected.  Here face also now has some color to give her a bit more depth and I've placed in a another set of arms so there is more variety in how she can be posed.

Consider printing this doll sheet in it's original format and also in reverse to give you more options in assembling the doll, especially if you are creating multiples of an image.

Yesterday I posted two Gypsy Dancer "Pantins" so I thought I'd you might 
like to see this Gypsy Pirate version of a Harlequin.

The Gypsy Pirate
My "Restored" version of a vintage "Pantin" Pirate Gypsy Paper Doll
I believe this "Pantin" was also produced by Epinal and he's a bit unusual in that he wears a harlequins costume, so I'm not sure if he really is a harlequin or not. Most of the harlequins I've seen in this paper doll line usually wear a mask and a few of the other characters that are not harlequins occasionally have a diamond pattern suite, so I think you can go either way with this fun character.

He is one of several vintage "Pantins" that were graciously posted on Flicker by "pilllpat"
 and I suggest if you are a lover of vintage paper toy images you spend some time browsing her gallery.  You can find him HERE along with many others in her photostream album.

Original vintage version of the Pirate Gypsy from pilllpat at flicker - HERE
He has so much character but once again is just a bit "flat" due to the coloring process he was created with in the 1800's  He was a great candidate for a digital makeover. I also discovered a bit of a problem with the original figure as I assembled him.  He had super long skinny legs that were a bit comical so I decided to alter them so he was a more robust looking pirate.

Below you can see my updated gypsy pirate in several fun poses.
These guys are digital png format paper dolls but you can create them for real by 
printing out the doll and assembling them with glue, brads or eyelets.

The digital images are fun but they are so much more entertaining if you actually assemble the doll. For greater versatility print them out multiple times and in "reverse" so you have more options in how to pose your character.  For instance the first gypsy pirate was created by adding in another sword arm in the same direction as the first; so to create him you would need to print the sheet twice in the same direction.  The last gypsy pirate has two legs pointing in the same direction but his torso is in reverse so it just a question of how you want to pose your character as to how many sheets you need to print and if you need to print any in "reverse".

To assemble these puppets I suggest printing them on a heavy paper and then backing that with a heavy cardstock or light chip board before cutting the parts out.  Small brads are perfect for joining the doll parts; however eyelets would work well too.  You can even create a double sided puppet by printing the sheet in reverse so you see the pretty side no matter which way you flip it.
To make a true "Jumping Jack" doll string is also used to 
connect the pieces so you can make the figure "dance".
In this case you want your brads or eyelets to be loosely fitted to the doll 
so that when you pull the string the limbs will move easily.
My Pantin paper doll assembly instruction sheet on how to make them dance can be found HERE 
An example of a large "Jumping-Jack" with string can be seen  - HERE
See more about Jumping-Jacks HERE and on string assembly HERE
I hope you like the two puppets I've posted today and that you are 
building a little collection of these interesting jointed paper dolls.  
I'd love to know if you create anything with them, so feel free to leave a note 
on how you will be using them. I'm sure others would love to store the idea away too. - grins
I'll have some more to add in soon, so check back by in a day or so to see who they will be.
Till Next Time...


  1. Hello,
    I like the dancing doll, she is beautiful! I am always fascinated by facial features on old pictures. Your work is always so beautiful, your little characters look alive!
    Many many many thanks!!!

    1. Thanks so much Sylvie - I thought she was a sweet character and though I wanted to "clean" her up a bit; I was trying to retain her vintage look. Thanks for letting me know you thought I accomplished this.


  2. I love your fun and fanciful blog. It makes me feel like a kid again.
    Your newest follower, Connie :)

    1. Thanks so much Connie - you made my day!

      I'm glad you are enjoying my posts and I hope to continue to put a smile on your face. Thanks for being a follower.


  3. Wow. Your blog is full of these antique articulated paper dolls. I'm in love. I have a collection of them on my blog too, but most of them are contemporary and vintage inspired. I may have to do a blog post on some of the ones you collect here!

    1. Hey Melissa - I'm so glad you are enjoying the articulated dolls I've got scattered across my blog; as you probably figured they are a passion with me too. It's always nice to have a variety of vintage, modern and self-made creations and I'm thrilled to meat another lover of these moving gems.

      You have some great posts on your blog as well. I've been a fan of Crankbunny as Lindsey Carr for a while (who couldn't love their Tattoo creation characters?) And I loved the articulated fish, too cute!

      I've got more dolls to post yet. A few more "Pantin" dolls and then more of the L&B Victorian Lady dolls, so please check back in to see them all.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know you are enjoying my blog and I hope to chat again with you in the near future.