Many "dolls" were, in fact, figures made for creches, the Christmas manger scenes set up in churches and homes.
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China was imported from the East to Europe, until the secret of porcelain making was revealed, and Germany started to produce fine china in its own factories. By the first part of the 19th centuries, china head dolls were claiming their place in the home. As china manufacturing methods became more dependable, china head dolls started to fully enter the market by the s according to Collectors Weekly.
They had varied looks. In Europe, dolls china factories began to turn out dolls resembling the young Queen Victoria after she took the throne. European and American factories molded dolls with popular hairstyles, pretty faces and delicate hands.
Many dolls represented young women and girls, although boy dolls and baby dolls were also manufactured. China was first made in the East, where the process was secret, according to Global Times newspaper. It's called "china" because that is where the pottery originated. China is made from a mixture of clay and minerals mixed with water, molded or shaped and then baked at high temperatures. Unfortunately, many factories did not identify their products, since they were making parts for resale and not complete dolls. Other factories were sold and resold, changing their names and their marks, but still making dolls and doll parts.
Some makers placed a doll or child's name on the shoulder plate, without noting the factory. Just a few well-known china head doll manufacturers among the dozens who produced them included:. As one who collects and studies antique dolls, I often come across reproductions of the antique dolls in my searches.
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The durability of the one piece porcelain shoulder-heads renders them quite attractive for making new molds from the antique heads. Old papier mache heads have been found that are copies of German china dolls, and not all have a known maker. Martha Chase modeled her cloth dolls after French or German bisque dolls of the time, possibly using a bisque doll as a mold for her oil painted dolls.
This Schoenhut wooden Miss Dolly doll in my collection dates to about Schoenhut, an American manufacturer, found it profitable to add the Dolly Face doll to their line of character dolls at a time when dolls could no longer be imported from Germany during WWI.
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Here is an antique German bisque dolly face by Heubach. The Schoenhut doll above is quite similar with fat cheeks and pretty, but non-descript, features. Many antique china dolls as well as other antique dolls are so rare now that a well executed reproduction can be a blessing for collectors like me who may never see one of these older revered dolls, much less ever expect to own one. For this reason, a few artistic reproduction dolls, as well as a reissue doll, have gained entry with respectable status into my collection of antique dolls.
I have already introduced you to my reproduction Izannah Walker doll, Miss Ruby. She is a faithful and artistic rendering of an antique doll, made by Paula Walton. Cordelia, a reproduction china doll, has pleasant face painting, but it is not the same as an antique German china doll. Also, the glaze on her porcelain causes the crisp lines of the detailed braids to be lost. She is not signed by the artist.
Another reproduction doll in my collection is my first china doll, Cordelia. She was most likely molded from a Parian doll, a porcelain doll that was not glazed, but made from white bisque. This antique Parian doll has the same hairstyle as Cordelia, but with added flowers in the loop of the braid.
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She also has molded lace around her shoulders and glass eyes. Her braids are crisp with individual brush strokes in the hair. She is much more exquisite, and better artistically rendered than Cordelia. I purchased the reproduction of this doll, on the right above, while waiting to find an antique one to add to my collection. I was not happy with the reproduction. In comparison, the porcelain quality is inferior, the hair color is a bit garish and lacks crispness, and the face painting has no depth.
I am happy to have found my antique Hertwig doll. Notice that the reproduction shoulder-head is slightly smaller than the original. This shrinkage occurs when a mold is made of an existing head. The new head is molded from the antique and shrinks when fired in the kiln. The hair is nicely molded with brush strokes. Unfortunately for me, this antique doll is quite rare, and well out of my price range when she is to be found.
I have, however, seen a few good reproductions of this doll, and I was fortunate enough to have added one to my collection. An antique china doll with Lydia hairstyle circa Note her pink tint with whites of eyes. The reproduction that I purchased has an appropriate reproduction body with flat soled shoes and spoon hands. Her face painting is well done. She may have been molded from a doll like the one above. Her coloring is not as high as the antique doll pictured above, and her lips are painted differently, yet her painting is good.
As with the antique Lydia, she has a pale pink tint and the whites of her eyes remain white. Again, the hair is not crisp through the thicker applied glaze. Some antique Curly Top dolls have delicate wisps of hair painted at the tips of the curls.
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The accent line painted between her lips has a very slight V dip in the middle which gives her an introspective smile. Almost all of the newer china doll copies are reproductions; however, there is one that is a re-issue of an antique doll made by the original company. This doll along with a larger lady and a boy doll is well made and artistically rendered from the original company.
It is difficult to tell the difference from the original antique doll. I recently found an appropriate body for this doll with low heeled shoes and lady-like hands, but she has no clothing yet. It is the rare and wealthy collector who can hope to own a Degas sculpture or a Carl Larsson painting.
We may decide to bring home a small reproduction of a favorite sculpture, or a print of a painting we admire. Likewise, some of the most lovely antique dolls are so rare that bringing one into our personal collection is just not possible. Of course an oil painting will be much higher quality than a print of that painting. And so an original antique doll will be superior to a reproduction. With this maxim in mind, it is best to bring the antique doll into a collection whenever possible. Yet a good quality reproduction of an antique doll can bring the art of the doll recapitulated into our space, and bring joy to our collection when the original doll is out of reach.
halmyegerfidy.ml Some antique dolls are just special, and you know it when you find them, even when they are not whole. Moira is such a doll. I found her as a shoulder-head with no body sitting on a shelf with another more common shoulder-head. I brought them both home with me. Some of the black color has worn off the high points on the back of her hair—a sign that a long-ago little girl played with her and loved her.
China dolls are unique among many other dolls because their molded hair does not change with time, and it holds a record of a specific fashion in its time. The flat tops, while older and dating as far back as the American Civil War era, are still common and readily available. Dolls with more unusual hairstyles add variety and interest to a collection, and incentive to study their history. She also has beautiful face painting with a serene expression.
This was exciting for me because I rarely see dolls made by this factory.
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