La Loie Fuller


Folies Bergere poster of La Loie Fuller created by Jules Cheret in 1893.

American-born Marie Louise Fuller became an overnight sensation after appearing at the Folies Bergere, Paris, in 1892. She danced across the stage enveloped in yards of swirling, shimmering cloth illuminated by multi-colored spotlights. She attracted the attention of many artists and is considered to be the personification of the Art Nouveau movement.

German Scarf Dancer, 6.25"h. This lady was sold in several sizes and with and without painted accents. She is marked with the Coronet trademark, which is a gold stamp of a crown inside a laurel wreath. Above the crown is written "Trademark" and below the Crown "Coronet." This trademark was registered to Geo. Borgfeldt & Co., a major U.S. importer located in New York City.

At left is a copy of the U. S. Patent #518, 347 issued to Marie Louise Fuller in 1894 for a "Garment for Dancers." The year before she had the dancing garment patented in Great Britain and France. This was the garment she used in her Serpentine Dance at the Folies Bergere. The skirt-like piece shown at upper left had an aluminum ring at the top which was to be placed on the head like a crown. The straight or curved wands attached at the open front edge of the skirt and were held in the hands to aid in the manipulation of the "skirt," which was to be made of a light, fluffy material. The skirt was swirled and made to move in waves and at the same time was illuminated by electrical lights.

Swirl Dancer, 10.25"h., designed by R. Guy Cowan and shown in the 1926 Cowan Pottery catalog as figure 720. A design patent (#72,598) for this lady was issued to Cowan in 1927. This figure was awarded first prize in the 1926 annual exhibition at the Cleveland Potery Museum of Art. Courtesy of Cowan Pottery Museum, Rocky River Public Library.


Above left: Lavender ashtray with green overglaze. The back is marked "Nov. 14, 1907" and the front is marked "Capron, Illinois, Souvenir of Capron." From the collection of William Sommer.

Above right: Picture vase in bisque with a snake on the back, symbolic of her Serpentine Dance. Loie Fuller would purchase and sell these outside the theater. Loie Fuller souvenirs were also sold at the Paris department store Printemps. From the collection of William Sommer.



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Uploaded April 8, 2001  © Copyright 2001, Bonnie Bull