Antique bisque doll experts?

pamghattenJanuary 1, 2011

I've found the marks for one of my dolls, it's a Frnz Schmidt.

But I can't even read what it says on the back of the other doll.

Here's the unknown one :

Back of head ...

Here's the Franz Schmidt doll ... she's very large and dirty. How do I safely clean her?

Most of the dolls I've seen on the internet had wigs, she doesn't?

Are these dolls valuable? Should I be doing something to preserve them? They currently just sit on the top of a bookcase.

Any other info you know would be helpful.



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You have a couple of very nice old dolls & the 1st 1 has more writing above the 122 to the right it looks like a B She looks quite similar to a Franz Schmidt doll on page 126 of Patricia Smith's 5th edition doll book put out in 1987. Face is much the same & hair & hand on right side is posed with fingers going same way. She is a 1296 tho. $800 at that time. She had 2 teeth tho. & 5 piece bent limb body. The feet on yours look like it is a "baby doll' 2nd doll could be a boy & they do pic a doll with no wig. Marked 1271/40 2 The thing he is wearing is probably original These are dolls with value so you need to take care of them. You said it is big, how big? That could be factor in value also. The co. started in 1890 at Georgenthal near Walterhausen,Thur(Germany??) I think,they got a patent in England for their eyelids. Trademark came in 1902 of crossed hammers with doll in center. These dolls were more for looks than playing with & could get broke so they are part of history of dolls. Their value will likely go up as less & less survive. Enjoy & find out how to take care of them.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Years ago I used to read a Doll Chat forum at eBay. There were many very knowledgeable folks that posted there and at that time. Might be an interesting place to check out.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 1:19AM
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Thanks to both of you.

suuny ... the first dolls hair seems to be glued down over some inlaid writing, which I can't read. Should the hair have been glued on? But it doesn't have the same writing as the second doll. I do see the B now that you pointed it out.

The second doll is probably 18 to 24 inches, I should have measured her/him when I had him down.

nanny, I'll have to check out that chat room this weekend.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 8:23AM
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Do you know any more history of the dolls?

Yes, the wig is supposed to be glued on. It looks like an old mohair wig, and they were usually glued on with hide glue. It can be gently soaked off with warm water, if you want to remove it. Can you make out any other letters or markings on the smaller doll?

Your Schmidt has a delightful face! The dolls with molded/painted hair were meant to represent babies, and weren't meant to have wigs, but some did. She looks like she would have been on a bent-limb body like your smaller doll. Are you sure the doll hasn't been pieced together? The head looks out of proportion for the body, although some doll factories and distributors made up dolls that way (rather than using a different head mold) so she may have come that way from the factory.

The heads/faces can be cleaned with soap and water. Use a qtip and be gentle around the eyes and mouth. The bisque is very thin around the eye sockets, and too much pressure can break it. You also don't want to get water inside the heads around the eyes. Eyes are mounted with plaster of Paris, and they can fall out if wet.

As a general rule, don't use any water on the body. Parts are made of carved wood (forearms, arms, ball joints) some is composition (hands) and some is paper mache (torso and legs.) Water can damage all of these things. You can use a dry microfiber cloth to get off surface dirt, and if it's still really grimy, you can use a soft eraser- a pink pencil eraser from the dollar store works fine.

Storing them in a climate controlled environment, out of direct sunlight is best. I'd be careful with them on top of a bookshelf. If they fall off, it's all over!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Hi again!

I just re-read that, and I just want to clarify about the Schmidt. You have a baby head on a toddler/child body. It may have always been that way, or it may have been pieced together at a later date.

These dolls actually were meant to be toys for children, so the heads were broken and replaced.

On the unknown baby, I did a little more searching, and she might be a Kammer and Reinhardt. The mark would be a K R with a Star of David symbol in the middle. It might also say Simon Halbig or "S&H." Kammer and Reinhardt didn't actually make the bique heads, but they were often made for that company by Simon Halbig. The more I look at that pic, it looks like it says Halbig. The doll is about 10"? I see there was a KR baby doll with that marking in that size. Can you show a better photo of the face?

Except for the shawl on the baby, the clothing on both dolls looks correct for the period. You can gently hand wash it in mild detergent or liquid Ivory, lay it flat to dry, and press with a warm iron.

If you have any more questions, I'd be glad to help if I can. I could talk about this all day!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:52AM
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can anyone out there help me. my mother had this doll when she was very little. now she is 49. it was a doll she had that her parents took away from her because she would walk around with it everywhere( even in public guess this embarrassed my grandparents. so my mother tells me) for a great gift i was trying to find out what it is maybe get some more information on it, possibly even buy her one if i get so lucky as to find one. please can anyone point me in the right direction

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 5:03PM
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