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Antique Metal Head Doll Menu 1861-1930s

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ca. 1920s Horsman metal head boy doll, composition jointed body and limbs. 

Doll marked Horsman, a mystery boy doll

Photo courtesy of Ronsfancy

France has the first patent recorded by René Poulin in 1861 for making dolls heads and limbs of metal. In 1876 Lucien Vervelle, also of France, secured a patent for dolls heads made of metal, too.  1898 Sommereisen obtained a French patent making hollow aluminum doll heads. 

 

Beginning in 1886 the majority of metal head dolls were made in Germany many by doll maker's Max Dittrich & Joseph Schön (1886-1890) & Robert Hiller (1887-1890). 

 

The German metal heads were made from stamped sheet metal, that were welded together and then painted.  The heads seem to have been made primarily as a replacement head for bisque or China doll heads that were easily broken,

The trade name Minerva over a helmet symbol (shown below), was used by the German doll maker Buschow & Beck from 1888 to the 1930s, their American partner was Alfred Vischer (with the Minerva doll mark) with George Borgfeldt and Louis Wolf as distributors, metal head dolls are found in old Sears catalogs under the Sears brand name of WearWell Dolls, also on dolls made of celluloid.

 

Karl Standfuss doll mark JUNO1898 to the 1930s Karl Standfuss used the trade name and doll mark JUNO.

 

1901 to 1910 Alfred Heller used the doll mark and trade name of DIANA.  Both are German doll makers of metallpuppenköpfe - metal doll head. 

 

Aluminum Doll Head Works 1919-1920 USA, made aluminum doll heads and hands on composition ball jointed or cloth stuffed bodies, doll mark unknown or unmarked.  

 

Atlas Doll & Toy Company 1917-1930 USA, made all metal dolls, also dolls with metal heads, sleep eyes, wigged and metal arms on cork stuffed bodies, Atlas doll mark or trade names are A.D.T. Co and in 1919 Hug Me Kid with sleep or stationary eyes, molded hair or wigged.  Atlas also made a Dolly Jump Rope doll.

 

Giebeler Falk Doll Corporation 1918-1921 of the USA, used the trade name Gie-Fa, they made an aluminum head with a wooden body phonograph doll named Primadonna, who has a clockwork mechanical mechanism in the dolls torso, a crank handle in the neck works the turntable located in the top of the head, dolls with a metal head, hands and feet with wooden or composition bodies and entire dolls made of all aluminum.  Doll marks Gie Fa Trademark New York, NY., Aluminum Heads ~ Hands Guaranteed Unbreakable or the initial G inside a six pointed star symbol U.S. Pat.

 

Armor Metal Toy Stamping Company, 1922 of Bayonne, NJ USA, made metal Armor heads on composition jointed or cloth stuffed jointed sanitary bodies and walking dolls, doll sizes 14-22" tall, doll marking unknown.

 

Horsman made a metal head doll marked Horsman as shown above on a composition jointed body, but we have been unable to find any reference documentation as to his name.  

 

Metal Doll Company 1902-1903 USA, made entire dolls of thin steel sheet metal, fully jointed steel body, some have jointed wrists and ankles, strung with steel springs in 12 and 18" tall, called All Steel Doll, distributed by Borgfeldt.

 

Antique Metal Head Dolls Identified

Items shown below are for reference

 

1901-1910 Diana metal head doll, 16" tall, shoulder head on cloth body by Alfred Heller.

1900s-1930s Buschow & Beck, Minerva metal head doll, 21" tall with a cloth body.

 

Buschow 7 Beck 22" metal head doll

 

on left;

1900s-1930s Minerva metal shoulder head doll, 22" tall with a kid body, by Buschow & Beck.

 

doll mark Minerva with a helmet symbol

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