Featured Help ID'ing an antique doll

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by B. Swain, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. B. Swain

    B. Swain New Member

    My parents were given the doll years ago from my father's family. She's sat in storage since then because everyone in my family is vaguely creeped out by dolls.

    So I've been trying to do my research on her, in the hopes of finally placing her somewhere where she would be appreciated.

    But given that everything I know about dolls is from horror movies, it's been quite the learning curve.

    Here's what I know: she's a closed-mouth "shoulder head" bisque doll... which doesn't exactly narrow things down.

    I can't seem to find any obvious marks beyond a 9 on the back of the torso. There's also a faint C, i and N nearby in pencil.

    No tags on the clothing. Seems handmade, and some of it clearly done by hand. It's been suggested that they aren't original to the doll, which i believe - I had to remove 5+ dressmakers pins in order to check for marks.

    Bisque head with glass eyes, bisque arms and legs. Stuffed cloth body. Hair is glued on.

    (Apologies for the poor photos . She's stored in a heavy case, which I couldn't easily move at the moment for better access).

    0111211009.jpg 0111211020.jpg
    sassafras, TraceyB and Any Jewelry like this.
  2. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    It would be better to have photos of her without the clothes.
    sassafras, TraceyB, judy and 3 others like this.
  3. Nancy Neal

    Nancy Neal Well-Known Member

    She is beautiful, The are dolls experts on here, the 9 is size no, Is body cloth or leather, are the limbs jointed?Cant off hand remember an C M could it be AM which is Armand Marseille, She could be Ketsner, Closed mouth is desirable, I have never seen such striking eyes, She has a Jumeau look, but dont think she is French,Are her ears perced, and are they part of the mold, These are all clues as to where she may have been born, For some reason Bergmann keeps running through this old brain,
  4. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

  5. Nancy Neal

    Nancy Neal Well-Known Member

    Look up CM Bergmann dolls,
  6. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Welcome B. She is lovely.
    Really Book!:eek::facepalm: Did you see her little face when you said that?:wideyed::joyful:
  7. TraceyB

    TraceyB Well-Known Member

    You should have seen my face :watching: :happy::happy::happy:
  8. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    And Book is very much correct. No clothing. Photos of front and back.

    Also, did you gently peel back her wig to expose any marks on the back of the neck?

    Peeling back the wig for a look does not harm the doll, but it may take some gentle tugging to release the glue.

    Does she have sleep eyes?

    (eyes that close and open). The way they look in the photo is, shall we say unusual.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    She is still reeling from the thought that she should take her clothes off.;)

    Do you think her eyes could be replacements? Maybe meant for a slightly bigger doll?
    bercrystal, sassafras and TraceyB like this.
  10. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    Yes, I was thinking along those lines also.

    If the entire wig were removed, one would be able to see if they have been replaced. Might have been sleep eyes originally.
    sassafras, TraceyB and Any Jewelry like this.
  11. sassafras

    sassafras Well-Known Member

    Yep. We need nude photos. :woot: And it's fine to remove the wig. There will be a pate on the underside of the wig that should pop off with a gentle pry. It won't hurt the bisque or the value of the doll.

    She is quite lovely and German. Looks like she's had a pretty significant repair to her shoulder plate. The "shocked" look that she has is an indicator that she once had sleep eyes which have been set to be stationary. When the dolls have sleep eyes (which are set on a rocker) they sit a little further back in the eye socket, so when the same eyes are reset as stationary, that little nudge forward gives the white of the eyes more prominence and you get this look. Not always the case, but a good indicator!

    Can we see a close up of her lower arms? Looks like there might be something going on there. She should have bisque lower arms, which these look like, but in the photos it looks like they may have been repainted. Could just be a trick of the pic.

    She should be on a leather body.

    The clothes and shoes, etc are reproductions. They do have a bit of age to them though.
    B. Swain, TraceyB, judy and 1 other person like this.
  12. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    Hi Sass! I am curious about the arms also. I had thoughts of replacements, but perhaps you have the right idea.

    She has a lovely face. Beautiful coloring.
    i need help and TraceyB like this.
  13. sassafras

    sassafras Well-Known Member

    Hi Judy! :kiss:

    They look like German bisque lower arms with compo paint on them. I'm not seeing any fingernail lines that you would see on unaltered hands of this size. Could be a camera trick though.

    My guess is this lovely girl took a trip to a doll hospital for repairs to her shoulder plate, had finger repairs and her eyes reset. If she's on a cloth body, that would be a replacement too. Clothing was probably made for her at that time. Looks like the things being done in the late 70s to early 80s to me.

    This dolly was loved very much! Those were not inexpensive things to have done at that time.
    B. Swain, judy and i need help like this.
  14. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    You could be correct about doll hospital repairs.

    I guess we'll have to wait for her to be undressed to reveal some truths. Hopefully our new member will come back.

    Welcome to Antiquers.............. @B. Swain!
    sassafras likes this.
  15. sassafras

    sassafras Well-Known Member

    Should also mention that maker's marks would have been incised rather than written in pencil. ;)

    @judy Are those crullers in your siggy?
    judy likes this.
  16. B. Swain

    B. Swain New Member

    Wow! Thanks for all the replies!

    - I'll get some photos of the body. The clothing (My dad confirmed that it's vintage, but not original) is pretty much stitched on, so it's a process. She's lucky I took a class on hand sewing!

    - From examining her, I'd say she has a cloth body. Arms and legs are bisque.

    - I did try looking under the hair for a mark ... no luck. Her hair seems to be glued on and isn't really wig-like (maybe from when she was repaired?). Looks like a "closed dome" (I think that's the term?) head. Ears aren't pierced.

    - Some of you suggested that she has been repaired. I'd wondered about that, myself. It would certainly explain the cloth body and the "scar" on her shoulder plate.

    - Currently considering either CM Bergmann or Kestner brand. My dad wasn't given any info on her when he inherited her - all he knows is that she belonged to his Great Great Aunt.
    judy and sassafras like this.
  17. Nancy Neal

    Nancy Neal Well-Known Member

    Another avenue to explore is German Belton type dolls,
    sassafras and B. Swain like this.
  18. sassafras

    sassafras Well-Known Member

    @B. Swain I don't think she's a Kestner or Bergmann. While there were some early Kestners that were marked with only a size number, this isn't one of them. By the time your lovely lady was made, they were very good at marking their dolls with mold numbers and had a very identifiable style of painting.

    She's all wrong for a Bergmann.

    The closed dome and unpierced ears would indicate she's a Belton type, as Nancy said. The painting is correct too. There wasn't an individual maker for them and they're usually marked with just a size number. Sounds like your girl. :)
    judy likes this.
  19. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    They are Spritz....butter cookies.


    Help yourself!
    Bakersgma likes this.
  20. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    Soon to be replaced..............
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Threads: Help ID'ing
Forum Title Date
Antique Discussion Help ID'ing a basket Jul 29, 2019
Antique Discussion Need help in ID'ing this statute Mar 15, 2019
Antique Discussion Barbour domed repousee metal box - help ID'ing the scenes Sep 4, 2015
Antique Discussion Please help me identify Chinese or Japanese antique what is it? What would it be worth? How old? Yesterday at 7:19 PM
Antique Discussion Help ID pens Yesterday at 4:04 PM

Share This Page