Antique Half Dolls Are Hard Working Doll
Half dolls are hard working dolls, and have such an interesting history ...
Article By Sharon Stajda
The small bottomless pottery or porcelain doll is known as the "half doll" was produced from the late 1800's to the early 1920s. The half doll is a doll that has over time collected many different names. Such as pincushion dolls, tea-cozy doll, and dresser doll. It has also been referred to as tops, pin-head or whisks broom dolls. These wonderful little dolls have one thing in common, they are all void of a bottom have tiny waists, and are very finely sculptured figurines. The sweet half dolls were produced by the thousand in Germany, France, Bavaria, Japan, and America. They were designed to be made into dolls that stood to disguise or decorate a variety of household objects. Such as whisk-brooms, pincushions, and also added over teapots to help ensure the pot stayed warm. The dolls were often made of Bisque pottery or porcelain. The earlier half dolls were adorned with beautiful wigs, made of mohair, some dolls hairstyles were accomplished by the molding process. In regards to the doll's joints, some half dolls even had movable joints at the arms, the less costly had fixed arms. Some dolls were produced to be adored, a home decoration. However, most half dolls were produced to have a life of toil, destine to work hard at removing lent or keeping a lady's pins in a safe cushion.
The doll's arms were produced in different styles. Such as touching its hair or held close to the body. There were also half dolls that were created with one hand holding an object, such as a flower or mirror. This type of half doll took the artist more time to assure the anchoring of the arms, hands, and fingers. This process took great skill, making sure to preserve the dolls delicately graceful pose. The more difficult poses were the half dolls with their arms held away from the body. This took great skill in the molding process. These intricate figure positions involved using many separate molds, and the fragile parts would then be fastened onto the unfired figure in a semi-moist state using "slip" as an adhesive. A half doll that has separated fingers are the more costly, and harder to come by in today's marketplace.
Wonderful German Half Dolls
Origin And History Of The Half Doll
German Pottery Companies Where The First To Produce Half Dolls
Some of the most beautiful porcelain half dolls were produced in Germany. One of the first pottery companies to produce the half doll was the popular German Pottery company "Dressel" & "Kister". which was located in Passau, a town that is located in Lower Bavaria. Artists used portraits of their subjects to create personal half dolls, they also produced half dolls in the likenesses of legendary characters from history. The German half dolls stood to show the great skills of the doll artists, with delicately sculptured hands, arms, and tiny waists. The dolls were faultless, showing tiny lines on the palm of the hands, and wonderful facial expression.
The half dolls were produced by the thousand in Germany in the early 1900s. In the mid-1900s France, Japan, and America pottery companies began to produce their own lines of half dolls. Although, In the world of collectors no other country produced as fine of a half doll as Germany.
Well-known Companies That Produced Half Dolls:
Dressel & Kister
F. W. Goebel,
Ernst, Bohne & Sohne,
Do you collect half dolls?
Variety of Half Dolls
A Doll For Him...
There were half dolls made strictly for ladies, and half dolls made strictly for men Only ...
I must mention, gentlemen also made good use of the half dolls, mostly in the form of a lint broom. The half dolls fashioned for the gentleman would have more masculine motifs. As a rule, the motif would be that of animals, such as rabbits, cats, dogs, birds, and soldiers.
La Belle Chocolatiere The Chocolate Girl
What Half Dolls Are The Most Sought After By Collectors?
One of the most sought after half dolls is "La Belle Chocolatiere The Chocolate Girl"
The most sought after half dolls is the likeness of a waitress in a Vienna chocolate shop, holding a chocolate pot and a cup and saucer on a tray. This wonderful sought after the doll was produced by the Goebel porcelain factory in Germany. It was designed to advertise Walter Baker chocolate in 1975. It is said to have fetched the highest price ever known for a porcelain half figure doll. Half Dolls of fine quality are now commanding very high prices. The half doll once had a place in almost every home, covering or decorating some whatnot. Many for good amusement, and some as good workers. Now, these little gems are well sought after to be collected and treasured.
Popularity Of The Half Doll
The Half Doll In The 1900s
Half dolls were made very popular in early 1900-1930. They were considered extravagances for the owner. Half dolls produced in the early part of the 20th century were fashioned to be somewhat similar to the 18th century Meissen dolls. These dolls were elegant, with elaborate hairstyles, ornate clothing, and wonderful hats. In the 1920s the flapper motif half dolls were produced. In the 1920s, due to greater technology, the dolls began to be mass produced. The mass production made the half doll affordable to all. Although, with mass production, a cheap, poorly molded, and badly glazed crinoline half doll emerged on the market. These half dolls were being cheaply made and sold in haberdashers, novelty shops, many being made to assemble in the home.
How To Identify An Antique Half Doll
Tips On How To Identify A Half Doll Manufacture
It's not always easy to determine the source or manufacture of a Half Dolls from the marks. Pottery companies such as Dressel and Kister bought molds from other factories with the right to use their trademarks. There was also the "Herend factory", a company that was located in Hungary, which imitated the work of other factories." Herend" also were able to reproduce designs, and replace pieces when the original manufacturers had long since gone out of business. So, there were many porcelain factories reproducing other manufacturer's models. New craftsmen also made new half doll molds but added very similar hallmarks on their finished pieces. Another very big problem is that many old dolls lack any marks at all. Partly due to the artist not assigning any great value to the utilitarian Half Doll in the earlier years they were being produced.
Marks, if any, will be on the tapered base of the doll or inside the small opening of the lower unglazed section. Look for the Goebel, Heubach and Dressel and Kister half dolls, all are well known to have made lovely half dolls. Capodimonte also produced some exquisite half dolls. Other countries that produced wonderful examples of half dolls America, the UK and of course later in Japan. All have made wonderful half dolls, that are well worth collecting.
Size Matters When It Comes To Identification Of A Half Doll
A good rule is if it's too big or too small it's not an older half doll. The older German half dolls were from 2 to 6 inches tall.
Materials and Characteristics Of Half Dolls
The better quality Half dolls are made of porcelain or bisque.
The German companies painted their half dolls much of the time by hand. This produced a finer quality to the dolls features. If you see a sloppy paint job, the doll is that of a company that massed produced half dolls. Always look at the features of that delicate facial paint. Check the fingers with the same workmanship. The older German half dolls will also have mohair wigs.
Half Doll Hallmarks or Marks
Half Doll Marks or Hallmarks
The larger majority of old antique half dolls posses no hallmarks at all. Many will be marked simply " Germany "or "Made in Germany". Some will have a number present at the waist of the doll, which will be four or five numbers impressed into the pottery, and void of any color. Half dolls that were produced in Japan, will be often marked with the word "Japan" or "Made in Japan," due to stringent import laws. The more famous pottery companies,
such as Dressel, Kister or Goebel, marked their half dolls with their company's distinctive hallmark/mark.
© 2012 Sharlee