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Character And Flirting-Eye Dolls
For the most part, character dolls represent certain well-known persons Shirley Temple, Sonja Henic, to mention two. They include dolls that looked like real babies. Usually they were of composition or bisque. "Character" dolls are not to be confused with "name" dolls which were made in Germany, and had girls' names labeled in gold in the china.
German bisque dolls are usually of the babyface type. The first of these was the homely newborn infant type with composition body. Collectors sometimes call this the Kaiser Wilhelm or the German Crown Prince doll. Since the accession of Queen Juliana, it has become, the Crown Princess Juliana. Actually it was modeled from the three-day-old son of the workman who made it. It comes in various sizes up to thirty-two inches.
Many American-designed dolls like Grace Story Putnam's well-known Bye-lo Baby were cast in Germany. It would be hard to say how many of the various sizes of this charming infant head were turned out from her wax model, but for some time the yearly royalties amounted to seventy thousand dollars. The Bye-lo Baby revolutionized the doll market and resulted in a flood of infant and character dolls both in bisque and composition. Georgine Averill of Hollywood also had her models for baby dolls cast in Germany.
For some years, Rose O'Neill's perky little Kewpie dolls delighted the world. They came in various sizes in bisque and in composition. The bisques were made in Germany, and probably the others were too. Playhouse dolls, representing all ages and conditions, have been made in Germany for at least fifty years. The author has two. One is an officer and one a gentleman in evening dress; both were brought from Germany in 1908. Two world wars have interrupted German toy production and dollmaking for considerable periods, but the industries always come back.
Among the character dolls, both bisque and composition, that followed Bye-lo Baby in the last twenty years and are now sought by collectors are the Patsy doll and dolls representing Shirley Temple, Jane Withers, Sonja Henie, and the Dionne quintuplets in various stages of development-to mention a few.