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Collecting German Bisque Dolls
Assembling a collection of German bisques is easy because the supply is good and the dolls relatively inexpensive. They are beautiful too and lend themselves to a variety of costumes, an invitation to the imaginative to dress them. Indeed they make a handsome display.
Outstanding collections of this type belong to Mrs. Aline Vigneau of California and to Mrs. Mac Connors of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The general collection of Mrs. Rose Parro of Waterbury, Vermont, includes many interesting German-bisques. She has sixteen hundred dolls in all.
The eyes of the bisques are of blown glass, with pupils, and beautifully colored irises which are finely threaded. These are made in Germany, which has long specialized in optical glass and artificial eyes, an industry which has been supplemented by the making of similar eyes for dolls.
The "flirting-eye" doll in bisque or composition has been made in Germany for a hundred years at least. It is so called because eyes move from side to side instead of up and down. Earlier ones were composition. Mrs. Edmund H. Poetter of Reading, Vermont, has one of these in her collection and a similar doll in bisque was brought from Germany in 1908 to the writer's sister, Mrs. Robert H. Carey of Front Royal, Virginia.
Many small novelty dolls were also made in bisque in German factories where true artists were employed at the low wages of unskilled workmen. With cheap labor, Germany could undersell the United States in open markets and so hold a monopoly in the doll and toy markets.