This beautiful German girl of the 1890s was produced by the German firm of J.D. Kestner, aka, "The King of Dollmakers," during the heyday of dollmaking. The closed mouth German Bebes were produced to compete with the French bebe dolls. This wonderful example has a sweet pouting closed-mouth expression with huge bright ocean blue sleep eyes. Her dress is perfectly suited to her era, and the glazed cotton lining is typical of handcrafts of this period. She is simply in superb condition for a doll of more than 100 years old. Just wonderful! The German doll producers were competing in the world marketplace for a cut of the growing doll demand developing in the rapidly industrializing countries. This Kestner represents the best of what they had to offer.
Many of the dolls were produced for the French and American trade. Being the fierce competitors that they were, the Germans effectively undercut the French producers by making dolls of comparable value to the French dolls and with comparable appeal to the buyers, but producing them at a much lower cost thereby taking a significant cut of the market. Eventually they toppled the French market by 1899 when most of the French doll producers had to consolidate into the SFBJ in order to remain viable.
She has a lovely poured bisque socket with beautiful bright blue sleep eyes with painted upper and lower lashes, multi stroke stacked dark brows, a closed mouth, and a slightly dimpled chin. She stands at 16.5” tall on her original early Kestner straight-wristed wood and composition body with an unusual slender waist, and wears a lovely silky-soft blond mohair wig in golden multitudinous curls.
She is dressed in a wonderful couture antique rose-pink silk frock, with a jacket-like front with small white beads down the edges over a gathered white lace over pink silk insert, with a small pale pink bow. The collar is also decorated with small white beads, and the sleeve cuffs have white lace trim and overlay. At the waist is a pale pink sash, gathered at intervals, over a pleated skirt with lace overlay on two pleats. It is lined with thin white glazed cotton. Underneath, she wears a matching underwear set of a half slip and pair of pantaloons, both decorated with openwork embroidery at the hems, with tucks near the waists. On her feet are a pair of pink knit socks and beige leather slippers with cream-colored trim and bows. On her head, she wears a fabulous pink hat, with white lace overlay, white silk on the brim and back, pink velvet lining, a spray of pink and white silk flowers, and a big bright pink bow on the back, with pink velvet ribbons, and she wears a white silk bow in her hair. Just a superb presentation!
***With a layaway plan, you can secure this item for yourself, while taking your time to pay at your own pace! Give us a call at 718-859-090, email, or message us here on Rubylane for payment details, layaway options, or to simply discuss this item.***
CONDITION: Excellent. The bisque head is free of any cracks, chips, hairlines, or restoration, and has beautiful glowing bisque with pleasant color, finely painted features, and a well modeled face with a slightly pouty expression. The glass eyes sleep well, with good alignment. The body retains most of its original shiny finish, with some minor and expected age wear. The costume is in excellent condition, with minor and expected age wear. The lining of the dress has initials written on it. What a lovely child stepping out of the Victorian era in her rosy pink antique dress!
***We will have new arrivals every single day- and you can visit our other items, and subscribe to our shop for daily notifications and see more fabulous clothing, accessories, dolls and oddities before ANYONE ELSE! We list new pieces every day! And now you can follow us on Instagram at WelcomeToTheDollHouse, and on Facebook at Kathy Libraty's Dolls for sneak peeks at what's coming, pre-sale notifications and private sales.*** LBP 3/6/20
Adorable 16.5” Closed-Mouth Kestner in Beautiful Antique Dress