GERMAN CHARACTERS

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Nowadays it is common for people to say they were mistaken or misunderstood as something was “taken out of context”. This may or can sometimes be true whether it be legitimate or simply to smooth over a misstatement or falsehood in a diplomatic or somewhat deceptive manner. This can also be the case whether referring to “ textuality “ as to whether something was simply heard by voice, or if in written form. Case in point; if one speaks to a fellow knowledgeable doll collector/dealer and says “ I am so happy; I think I have the world’s biggest Fany!!”, they would know exactly what you were talking about and most likely would share your sense of elation with you ( or perhaps be extremely jealous !). Proving that indeed “ Context is Everything “ if the same person were to speak the same phrase to anyone else without similar knowledge/interest they might sense you were the indeed “ maybe a bit eccentric, even a little off “ , or at best had evolved and come to grips to the point where “ body shaming “ is an unacceptable thing of the past and he/she is “ having no more of that !”. Moving on.

We are thrilled to offer this exceptional doll, both of a quality and stature. Never have we had an example this grand, but until purchasing her we were unaware that one of this size had even been made with one about 22 inches the largest one previously seen by us. She stands 25” ( 64cm ) and is incised on back of head “ Fany ( is signature-style script ) 230 D.R.G.M.248/1. A. 11 M. “ , and features clothed pouty mouth with dimples and double chin, blue glass sleep eyes, big stuck out ears, multi-stroke brows and tiny upper and lower lashes, and mounted to the Original fully jointed wood and composition Toddler Body with straight wrists with mostly original good patina ( two finger tips with tiny chips ). This particular style of toddler body is believed to have been utilized only for the 230 and 231 ( molded hair “Fany”s ) as it is short and fat in typical toddler proportion but does not have the diagonal hip joint found on most, if not all, the other jointed toddler bodies of this era. She wears a full antique slightly auburn period mohair wig with side part and silk ribbon bow, antique underclothing , a period white cotton and cutwork dress with high collar and puffy overlay sleeves, white knit socks and antique white leather side button boots with leather soles and slight raised heel in back. It is rare to say ( especially being when feeling confident to even say so ) that this may be the “ chance of a lifetime “ to buy an example of a Fany such as this, but in roughly 40 years of selling antique dolls we do not recall seeing another similar, and definitely have not had the honor of having one for sale………..US$ 6,450. 

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Stunning in its size, quality , and excellence of detailed facial modeling is this 23” (58cm ) example of the rare and desirable version of the Simon & Halbig 151 character child, this one presented as a girl, and incised on back of head “ 3 S&H 151 “, and stamped in red on torso of original fully jointed wood and composition body “ HEINRICH HANDWERCK Germany “. She has meticulously detailed modeling of face with smiling open/closed mouth and four molded-in place white upper teeth between the closed lips, blue painted eyes, detailed upper and lower lashes with short half stroke brows similar to the K&R characters of the same period. Researchers have inferred that this 151 model is indeed the same child as Arthur Lewin-Funke used to design his popular L&R 114 “ pouty “ model so if so, one might assume Lewin-Funke had a hand in designing some if not all the few S&H character models sold in the same era of the early 1910s. This superlative example is on the original body with fine original patina, wears an antique printed cotton dress, antique blond mohair wig with bangs, an old straw hat, antique black knit stockings ( some age wear ) and antique black canvas shoes. As with the majority of these thin bisque head K&R and S&H head characters there are some wig, pulls, primarily on back of the head and not more than surface deep, as well as one other at crown near forehead. All are completely covered with the wig in place and do not detract whatsoever from the appeal of the doll, especially considering the smooth even facial painting and the finish of the near-mint body. Although the current trend in collecting smaller “ cabinet size “ examples seems prevalent at the moment it is hard to deny that when comparing smaller and larger versions of the same character doll model that the detail of the sculpting comes to full force with these larger, and most often rarer examples!………..US$ 6,500.

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Although this charming smiling character girl is only 12’ ( 31cm ), do not be misguided in dismissing her as being just “ cute “ as any sophisticated advanced collector of German characters surely will be quick to point out that this is one of the rarest molds that can be found in the series that also includes the 111, 128, 120, 129, and perhaps a few others, initially (and perhaps erroneously) attributed to Simon and Halbig, but due to intense investigative work initially based on merely speculation and hunch, but later to various later unearthed documentation, that these molds ( which were made with painted eyes AND glass sleep eyes ) were creations and property of the mostly disregarded and much maligned firm of Adolf Wislizenus, known primarily for their “ Special “ dolly faced girl dolls. As it is believed Wislizenus did not manufacture their own bisque heads but subcontracted their making to other porcelain making firms. As such, even VERY RECENT research/speculation has thoughtfully brought out the possibility that perhaps the glass eyed models of this series were “ farmed out “ to Simon & Halbig, whereas the exact same numbers in painted eye form might have been produced for Wislizenus by Catterfelder Puppenfabrik based on similarities of eye color, eyebrow painting technique, and dome-like tops of the head under the wigs. This spectacular child is incised “ 125 “ and has open/closed smiling mouth, molded and painted facial features with one stroke “ half moon “ type brows, tiny painted upper lashes and black upper lid eyeliner, sky blue eyes with white enamel highlight dots, and is mounted on the original fully articulated German wood and composition body with fine original finish. The regional costume with heavy quilted printed skirt , white blouse , paisley V-shaped midsection with black apron and floral embroidered bib adds to her overall charm and basic appearance of originality. The wig is antique auburn mohair covered by a black cap and black lace trim which ties under the chin, and draped across her shoulders and is a pink silk kerchief-type fringed shawl which can also used as an addition scarf head covering if needed or desired. Any knowledgeable collector of rare characters can attest to the fact that the 111s and 128s, regardless of size, sell beginning in the low $5000.+ range and could also serve as an affirmative backup of fact that a 125 is available for sale far less frequently than that of the two aforementioned rare molds numbers..SOLD. 

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With time, experience, knowledge, and exposure many ( and most ) doll producing firms have come to be categorized as being essentially “ good “ , “ bad,” “ exquisite, ”, “ mediocre”, or “ almost worthless”, etc. Even within the general framework of a company’s general reputation there is always a noteworthy and much “ praise-worthy “ exception(s). Despite the fact that Ernst Heubach under the general nomenclature of “ Heubach Koppelsdorf” produced massive amounts of low cost /low sale price babies and “ Dolly Faces” for many years and exported all over the world and can be found almost everywhere children lived in those decades, their relatively rare and high quality “ googly “ dolls “ contradict the general stereotype and this 9” ( 23cm ) all original charmer needs no hype or gratuitous adulation-just one hard look which is bound to be followed by an immediate wide smile! She is incised “ Heubach Koppelsdorf 322. 17/0 Germany “ and has huge wide open blue side glancing sleep eyes, arched half stroke arched brows, a closed smiling mouth with tightly pursed lips, and is on the original five piece jointed composition body with outstretched hands , diagonal hip joints, molded and painted ribbed white stockings and one strap painted brown “ Mary Jane “-style shoes. The original brown mohair wig is upswept into a high bun at top back, and the clothes are simple but original with peach felt vest top with tiny thread pompoms, and pleated organdy skirt and nicker, slightly soiled with age dust but nonetheless 100% original with all clothing sewn around the body. A RARE all original doll, hard to find, and a must for any serious “ googly- collector”!…..SOLD 

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Very nice glass eyed Kestner character with Glass Eyes, incised “ 179 “ with two molded upper teeth within the open/closed expression , brown glass sleep eyes, tiny painted upper and lower lashes and multistroke blondish eyebrows, on the period marked Kestner body with original finish stamped in red “ Germany 0 ½”. Dressed in a sailor suit consisting of white linen bib-type knee length trousers which reach up and fasten separately above each shoulder, a blue and white V-shaped inner collar, an indigo blue jacket with brass buttons, white stitching on wide collar with wide lapels and similar stitching at sleeve ends, long white cotton stockings and somewhat newer but nicely made white leather side-button boots. The antique bluish-purple mariner’s cap also has stitching and brass star adornments. The wig is antique wispy blond mohair over plaster pate ( has been detached so easy to stuff head when and if shipped ). A nice cabinet size, 15” (38cm) – not too big nor too small. If this were at one time ever in a Kestner Character “ Boxed Set “ it would have been in the intermediary size with the smallest one with dolls about 12” and the largest about 18”. A very nice character with the much harder to find glass sleep eyes!……………….US$ 1,850. 

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Stunning in both its size ( 24 ½”, 62 cm ) and presentation is this beautiful portrait of an Asian child by Simon & Halbig, incised “ S&H 1129 11 “ , with slightly and realistically tinted bisque with even more accented and modeled eye cutouts with brown glass sleep eyes, finely painted upper and lower lashes, arched multistroke eyebrows, slightly rouged cheek highlighting, and an open mouth with four upper teeth. The fully articulated German wood and composition body is original with excellent finish and painted in a unique color which is well coordinated with the subtle hues of the bisque head. The elaborately styled black mohair wig is original and encircled with a cloth floral garland headband. The ankle length pale green silk costume is intricately and realistically designed with accoutrements totally in keeping with the background and style of the doll. The shoes are pale green canvas and almost perfectly match the color of the silk dress. There are four Simon Halbig models portraying various Asian child with the 1329 being the most frequently found so to find an 1129 of this quality and grand size is indeed an opportunity not often experienced!………………………………….US$ 3,250. 

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Rare in both its size ( 15” , 38cm ) and its remarkable characteristics ( glass sleep eyes AND its separately molded and removable bisque bonnet ) is the Gebruder Heubach “ Stuart Baby “ with socket head incised “ 7975 Germany “ and also has the incised Heubach “ fan “ logo. She is also on a very nice fully articulated German wood and composition body with original patina and is well dressed in a white cotton blouse, a striped cotton print antique dress with pockets, old underwear, rose colored knit stockings and old but somewhat faded pale rose leather shoes. The white bisque bonnet has the well- recognized pink rose and leaf design painted all around the edge, a few random similar roses on top , AND, at the base of the neck, on the back of the head itself, just below the bonnet, is molded painted and curly hair jutting out to lend even more reality and a further three dimensional aspect of design. At each front edge of the bonnet there are small round holes to allow ribbons or strings to be inserted allowing for tying a big bow under the chin to hold the bonnet in place. Although the head and bonnet of this particular doll are actually being held together now by the inserted ribbon shown, one must wonder if this was indeed the purpose of the two part mold to have children actually remove the bonnet as it is/was especially perilous and indeed when new the two pieces ( lower “ head “ and bisque bonnet ) were most likely held together and affixed at the factory by a heavy plaster much in the manner of the pates originally provided to the Kestner dolls with cut heads and wigs (?!). A rare model in excellent condition as “ Stuart Babies “ are traditionally one bisque solid heads/bonnets with painted intaglio eyes , smaller, and on baby bodies…………………………………….US$ 2,250.

 

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