Steiner Antique Dolls Delight – Black Figure A Bebe

Black Steiner Figure A, c. 1890

Black Steiner Figure A French Antique Doll c. 1890

I have talked about how inventive and interesting I think Steiner French Antique Dolls are in the past, and this doll is no exception. There aren’t very many Black antique dolls, but I think there are more by Jules Steiner than most other makers. I have two of them; this doll is a recent acquisition from Theriault’s Kaleidoscope auction. She is a good-sized doll at 20″ tall, and she is a Figure A with an open mouth and teeth (yep, I’ll say it again, Steiner loves doll teeth). She has beautiful sculpting and an absolutely flawless Continue reading

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Kestner 1880s All-Bisque Doll: Poetry in Miniature

Kestner All-Bisque Doll in Miniature Room by Denise Van Patten

Kestner All-Bisque Doll in Miniature Room by Denise Van Patten

Generally speaking, when it comes to antique dolls, I collect the French ones. But, there are a few exceptions. I have a real love of antique miniature, all-bisque and dollhouse dolls, and overall, I prefer the German all-bisque dolls to the French ones.

The doll pictured is one of my favorite all-bisque dolls. She is a German doll from approximately 1885, made by Kestner. She stands 6 inches tall, and has four-strap ankle boots, beautiful painting, peg-jointing and what I believe to be her original wig. I just love the modeling and the expressions on these early all-bisques from Kestner. I also love the modeling on their bodies.

I originally purchased this doll Continue reading

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Nancy Wiley’s Alice in Wonderland – Dolls and Book Work Together as Art

Nancy Wiley's Alice in Wonderland Doll

Alice in Wonderland Doll by Nancy Wiley

Although I mostly collect vintage and antique dolls, I have a small collection of modern Alice in Wonderland dolls which started when my daughter portrayed Alice in a local production of Alice in Wonderland. One of my favorite dolls from this small collection is Nancy Wiley’s Alice. This doll was released in 2009 by Nancy, and she is part of a small collection of dolls (including the Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat) that Nancy used to illustrate her Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland book.

The doll stands 10 inches tall, and she is painted with oil paints, so that the doll is not only a doll of Alice in Wonderland, but also a

three-dimensional portrait painting of her.  The doll is made of non-traditional materials, including Continue reading

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Tete Jumeau: One of My Favorite Antique French Dolls

TeteJumeauAllOriginalAlthough the Tete Jumeau Bebe is not the rarest of French antique bisque dolls, and not even the rarest of Jumeau dolls, the Tete Jumeau is one of my favorites.  Made in just about any size imaginable, you can find Tete Jumeaus dressed in their original store chemises (as with this doll), in French Folklore costumes, and in the frilliest of high couture for children of the 1890s.

This is my favorite Tete Jumeau doll in my collection. She stands 14 inches tall, and is so beautifully original–she comes to us with a perfectly untouched fully-jointed composition/wood body. big brown paperweight eyes, her original wig, chemise, Jumeau socks and Continue reading

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Photo Gallery – Waltzing Steiner French Fashion Doll

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Here are more photos of the lovely Waltzing Steiner French Fashion Doll!  You can see her whole outfit here, as well as her lovely bisque arms, some of her mechanism and the Izzard manufacturing labels.  To enlarge any photo, just … Continue reading

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Waltzing Steiner French Fashion Doll – Beautiful, Unique, and All-Original

SteinerWaltzingDollThis is another of the “dolls with a twist” from the recent Theriault’s auction. I have long studied and collected French Fashion Dolls, and I am fascinated by their history and variety. Steiner made some of the most interesting of these dolls, often mechanical, often early, and, as with this doll. often with open mouths and little teeth (I mean seriously, teeth–what were they going to do, eat a miniature croissant?).

This particular lovely Steiner French Fashion is a mechanical doll that waltzes when you wind up her clockwork mechanism–she glides forward and side to side in graceful movements, lifting her arms up and down (and yes, after approximately 150 years, Continue reading

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Fashion Queen Barbie: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Fashion Queen Barbie

Fashion Queen Barbie Doll c. 1963

The Fashion Queen Barbie doll, produced from 1963 to 1965, really is all about glamour. In 1963, Barbie was still relatively new, and nearly all the Barbie dolls on the market were either Ponytail Barbie dolls or Bubblecut Barbie dolls. And then came the very different and very fashionable Fashion Queen Barbie doll.

Fashion Queen Barbie had molded hair with a blue band (the less-popular Miss Barbie doll which also had molded hair–and sleep eyes–was released right about the same time). Fashion Queen Barbie not only had molded hair–she was sold with three wigs (and a stand). As shown, she was sold with a white and metallic gold swimsuit and matching turban (the turban is uncommon to find).

This doll is hard to find never removed from her original box, and is valued at Continue reading

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Sample Card from Hertwig Bisque Doll Factory : A History Lesson for Early 20th Century Bisque Dolls

Hertwig Doll Factory Sample Card

Factory Sample Card From The Hertwig Doll Factory c. 1920s

Thanks to a Theriault’s special auction in early 2001, we have a great record of the factory sample cards for small German all-bisque dolls from the Hertwig factory from the 1890s to the 1930s. For doll collectors and historians, it is a delight to see what types of dolls came from Hertwig and similar bisque factories, especially since most of these dolls come to us unmarked as to the maker of the dolls.

The photo is a detail from one of the sample cards from that auction, one that I own and keep in my doll work-bench area. I especially love these cards because it shows us how these dolls were sold to stores in the early 20th Century. Can’t you just see Continue reading

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SFBJ 230 Fortune Teller Doll: All-Original, And She’ll Predict Your Future Too!

SFBJ Fortune Teller Doll

SFBJ 230 Fortune Teller Doll c. 1910

This is another one of those beautiful dolls antique dolls “with a twist” that I purchased at the Theriault’s doll auction in Las Vegas. I’ve always liked the SFBJ 230, since they are pretty much the last variety of French Jumeau doll–they use the actual Jumeau molds from the Jumeau doll firm before it was folded into SFBJ (“Société Française de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets”) .  I also really like SFBJ dolls that are all original (as this doll is), and which look like they just stepped out of the SFBJ doll and toy catalogs from the early 1900s. Finally, this doll is a fortune teller!  Fortune teller antique dolls were made out of china dolls, paper mache dolls and French fashion dolls. It is relatively rare to see an intact SFBJ fortune teller doll (all the fortune teller dolls are hard to find in good condition).

As with this doll, Continue reading

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SFBJ 230 Fortune Teller Doll Photo Gallery

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This beautiful SFBJ 230 French bisque Fortune Teller doll really needed more than one photo to tell her story, so here she is presented in photo gallery format. Click on a photo to bring up a much larger image.

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