Saturday, September 18, 2010

KESTNER 154 Pale Bisque German doll

Early German child doll, marked made in Germany, and Dep 154 which an experienced doll collector researched for me. We now attribute this georgeous doll to Kestner, scroll down to read how we came to the conclusion that she is a Kestner doll.

This is a doll to fall in love with.. Her eyes are incredible lustrous, large sleep eyes, the bisque is pale, the delicate face is beautifully painted, the wig frames the face SO well.

btw the wig was specially made for her from mohair, because of the style it had to be glued to the head so I am including photos of the head before the wig was added. (We can't pack the head for transport as we usually do but have learned packing methods to ensure her eyes are safe during transport)

She has one of the prettiest faces we have seen in a doll, she is obviously extremely well made
by a superior doll maker. Because she is so lovely I have included a large amount of photos and information so buyers have a good idea of her condition.

She measures 16"(41cm) long.
I have dressed her in a more modern vintage cotton dress that fits and suits her well.

The back of the head is marked 154 Dep 5..

She does have some cracks in the head which have been re-inforced and are now stable.

If you look carefully you will see a fine hairline crack that starts at the edge of the cheek runs through the middle of the neck to the P in dep.. The crack is so fine and hard to see we only found it after careful cleaning. Apparently this doll is so old and sought after by collectors that she is still a highly valued doll.

Her eyes are heavy and blink well.

She has squared off teeth, which are separated, not merely marked out with indentations. The teeth are molded in one with the head. Apparently the squared teeth make her a desirable doll indeed.

Her body is a soft genuine leather and as you will see is quality made and has some interesting features I haven't seen before in a doll.


My friend who researched the doll said one of the doll marking ID books show markings found on Kestner dolls, some of which do not include the marker's name.

Marianne & Jurgen Cieslik, in their book of doll marks, published in 2001, name 4 makers of mold #154, with descriptions. The only description that fits this doll's head is that of JD Kestner Junior:- "marked "dep", shoulder-head, with child-like face", dated as from 1897. (This is also around the time when this design of body was first made). Kestner were known to mark their shoulder heads high up around the crown rim. (see Jan Foulke, "Kestner, King of Doll Makers", page 76) - Reading these descriptions, this head can definitely be attributed to Kestner.

The doll would have had real hair eyelashes, - that is why she has no painted upper lashes.
I am told Dep on a German doll head is said to denote a doll made for the French Market, and our experience is that they are almost always of high quality. She has the pale (early) smooth bisque and the heavy feathered eyebrows which are associated with dolls made to emulate the French dolls & therefore be acceptable for the french market which demanded high quality.

This doll is available, contact me for details and more photos

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