I've been researching antique dolls for a little while now, and I really like the French and German dolls. Kestner dolls were made in Germany from the 1820's until 1938.
She has a bisque shoulder head, brown sleep eyes, beautifully painted eyebrows, and lashes. Her cheeks are blushed a rosy pink. Her mouth is partially open and you can see her tiny teeth inside.
Believe it or not, I think my admiration for antique dolls started at Goodwill. I saw a large framed picture of an antique doll in Goodwill. The doll lover in me fell in love with the doll in that picture. I didn't buy the picture (kicking myself), but I did take a picture of it with my phone.
I came home and kept thinking about the beautiful antique doll in the picture. She wore a little pin on her dress that said Bebe. I looked up Bebe and found the Bebe Jumeau dolls. These very beautiful French dolls are in high demand and sell for thousands of dollars.
Since then, I started paying more attention to the antique dolls that I occasionally saw in antique stores, and I'd come home and research what I saw. I also started watching ebay auctions to get an idea of the current value. A few days ago, I decided to bid on this little Kestner and won.
She stands 16.5" tall.
She wears a brown wig that hangs in ringlets.
The back of her neck is marked 154 dep 5.
She has an ivory cotton dress with pin tucks and a ruffled collar. It closes in the back with snaps. She also came with black socks and black boots.
Her petticoat is made of the same fabric as her dress and has a lace trim. It closes in the back with a button and buttonhole closure.
Her pantaloons are also made of the same fabric, but they have a hook and eye closure.
She came with a straw hat that has the tiniest pink roses on it. I don't think the hat is old, but I can't tell if the clothes are old or not.
She has a gusseted kid leather body.
When you lay her down, her eyelids close.
I found a tear in the leather just under her bottom in the gusset where her leg bends at the hip. She is filled with a finely ground wood like sawdust. If anyone knows how to repair the kid leather, please let me know.
Her lower arms and hands are made of bisque. The red mark on the kid leather on her upper arm may be where she was originally marked Made in Germany in red.
Here she is all dressed back up and sitting on my bed with my antique doll tapestry pillows.
Finally here she is with Hitty Etta (which reminds me, I need a name for her).
Since Hitty Etta is named after my paternal Grandmother, I was thinking of naming her Lizzie, after my maternal Grandmother, Elizabeth. Or maybe Leah, after my husband's mother, who passed away almost 25 years ago, when we were expecting our oldest daughter.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and name suggestions. Please leave a comment below.