Absolutely Beautiful Antique 20” Bisque Head Hilda Character Baby by J.D. Kestner, Germany, circa 1915

"Hilda" is unquestionably one of the most beautiful antique bisque head babies ever produced. She was made by the J.D. Kestner firm in Germany around 1915. This example is approximately 20" tall and has a wonderful solid dome bisque socket head with slightly molded, and beautifully brush stroked, painted blonde hair. Her head is marked, "Hilda c. JDK Jr., 1914 Ges Gesch, N 1070, Made in Germany." Her lovely bisque head is in good condition with no cracks or hairlines though I notice a rub on her right cheek as well as minor rub on her neck.

She has multi-stroke blonde eyebrows, numerous long, lush, soft black painted upper and lower eyelashes that surround her nicely functioning blue glass sleep-eyes. She has rose tinted tear ducts, nostrils, and two-tone lips that are beautifully detailed with some darker red outlining on the top and bottom. Her open mouth reveals two upper teeth. She has nice, soft coloring, a little dimple in her chin and a molded roll of baby fat under her chin.

Her original signature Kestner antique five-piece composition body is nicely shaped and chunky. It still retains its original finish with typical rubs and minor soiling. All fingers are intact with no repairs. Hilda wears a gorgeous, cream colored, antique Swiss batiste, long christening gown that is in nice condition. It is decorated with yards of delicate antique cotton lace. Sweet embroidered flowers are scattered over the dress. The dress closes down the back with four original mother-of-pearl buttons which are still in place. Beneath this is a long antique cotton slip, also trimmed with lace and a flounce of eyelet embroidery at the hem. The slip has some very tiny scattered rust stains I have not tried to remove. The slip is worn over a cotton knit infant shirt that wraps around the doll's torso and is pinned to the baby's cloth diaper. Hilda also wears white cotton baby socks and darling crocheted booties that gather and tie with ribbon.

All of this is topped-off by a precious antique ecru silk baby bonnet that is covered with rows of tiny tucking, hand embroidery, rows of gathered net which surround her face, three blue ribbon bows across the top of the bonnet, and two light blue satin ribbon ties. This bonnet is a true confection and work of love, as is the entire doll.

If you don't have a Hilda baby in your collection – now is the time. This baby is absolutely beautiful and has gorgeous clothes.

Item ID: DL-2200

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Jill Watson, Southeast, TX   

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