Bellmer made his first doll in 1933 (see the note on T01157) and took a series of photographs of it in various states of dismemberment and rearrangement, and 'with the necessary background of vice and enchantment', which was first published as a book Die Puppein Karlsruhe in 1934, with a foreword by himself. The photographs were taken by Bellmer, while the settings were constructed by his brother.
His second series of photographs was based on the elements of the central sphere, sometimes with a head and sometimes with two pairs of legs, and was completed in December 1937. Some of the photographs were taken out of doors in the garden of his father's house. Bellmer took the photographs with him when he settled in Paris in 1938 and preparations were made for their publication. The foreword, which was originally written in German, was translated into French in 1938 with the help of Georges Hugnet, while the idea of hand-colouring the photographs (which had not been done in the case of the first series) was suggested by Paul Eluard. Eluard also wrote fourteen short prose poems in the winter of 1938-9 to accompany the photographs. However in the end the book was not published until after the war, in 1949, when it was brought out by Heinz Berggruen, in a very limited edition, as Les Jeux de la Poupée.