Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Guide to Antique Dolls
LEARNING IDENTIFICATION TIPS AND VALUES
Source: January 2001 • DOLL READER • The Ultimate Authority, Pages 46-50
Dolls of all-bisque were made as early as the 1860s, but the luxury dolls with wigs and glass eyes date from about 1867 on. These little dolls were a development of the French market, but production soon switched to the German porcelain factories, such as Simon & Halbig, which made these luxuries for the French trade. The J.D. Kestner doll factory also was widely involved in the all-bisque market, with many wonderful designs. Studying the production details of these small dolls proves how amazing they are to have been produced in such small sizes-sleeping eyes with real eyelashes, wonderful wigs, detailed body modeling, special joints and intricate footwear. Of course, the size makes them very popular with collectors who just do not have space for large dolls in their collections. It's always easy to squeeze in another tiny all-bisque doll!
FEATURED DOLL-8'/2-INCH KESTNER WITH SWIVEL WAIST
COMMENTARY: This wonderful doll with a swivel waist is the most rare and desirable of the all-bisques. She is strung with an elastic cord from her neck through the waist joint to a hole between her legs. What a marvel of early innovation in doll construction!
PRICE: No comparables available estimated at more than $10,000; may have minor chips at stringing holes, joints and elsewhere.
• Swivel neck, pegged shoulder joints
• One cupped hand, one open hand
• Swivel waist, molded navel
• Pegged hip joints
• Molded white ribbed stockings with scalloped tops, magenta garters
• Black molded boots with scalloped tops and molded side buttons
• Pale early bisque
• Pouty face with protruding upper lip, closed mouth with white space between lips, multi-stroked eyebrows, painted eyelashes, brown sleeping eyes
• Blonde mohair wig
6½-INCH KESTNER WITH JOINTED KNEES
COMMENTARY: Another innovation by J.D. Kestner is this doll with joints at the knees. She is pegged through the hips and again at the knees with the elastic cord coming through the sole of her shoe. She is very desirable to all-bisque collectors, but not as rare as the swivel waist model. She is marked 1 on her head and legs. She can be found with pink, gray, blue or green boots.
PRICE: $4,500, may have minor chips at stringing holes, joints and elsewhere.
FEATURES: Blonde mohair wig, multi-stroked eyebrows, painted eyelashes, gray sleeping eyes, closed pouty mouth witl1 Up shading line, swivel neck, pegged shoulders and hips, jointed knees, molded boots, painted green garters.
5¾-INCH SIMON & HALBIG WITH JOINTED KNEES
COMMENTARY: This is a very rare model by Simon & Halbig; p 1-haps only one other is known to exist with jointed knees. They are strung w:i th ela tic through holes on both sides of the leg parts. Since she has no painted upper eyelashes, she probably had real ones, which have disintegrated. With her cork pate, she was apparently made for the French trade.
PRICE: No comparables available, estimated at $5,500.
FEATURES: Original blonde mohair wig, cork pate, tapered one-stroke eyebrows, brown sleeping eyes, closed mouth, chubby cheeks, pegged shoulders and hips, jointed knees, bare feet with detailed toes.
5-INCH KESTNER 112 GOOGLY WITH JOINTED ELBOWS & KNEES
COMMENTARY: This is a hard-to-find model, very desirable to collectors, but not rare. This model comes with either a stiff or swivel neck. Of course, the swivel model is the most desirable. It is marked with the mold number 112 on head and shoulders.
PRICE: Perfect condition, $3,250.
FEATURES: Original mohair wig, tapered one-stroke eyebrows, brown side-glancing sleep eyes, painted eyelashes, watermelon mouth, swivel neck, jointed shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, molded brown one-strap shoes, blue garters.
5½-INCH FRENCH ALL-BISQUE WITH BALL-JOINTED ELBOWS
COMMENTARY: This is a very desirable doll, a fairly rare version with wood balljointed elbows. She is marked on her back BTE, a French abbreviation for breveté, which means that the patent is registered. This model may also have jointed knees.
PRICE: Naked, may have minor chips, $4,500; all original clothing and wig, $5,500.
FEATURES: Original wavy blonde mohair wig, thin one-stroke eyebrows, blue glass eyes, painted upper and lower eyelashes, tiny closed mouth, jointed shoulders and elbows, straight hands, pegged hips, long slender legs, bare feet.