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Nelling, Inc.

E a r l y   D o l l s

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(Click on photos to enlarge) 

French Paper Mache in Original Costume

Depicting a woman from the eastern French province of Bresse, in the region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, we have an early paper mache that wears a quite dramatic original costume.  First noticed is the double-decker black hat or head dress, that is like a two-tiered, velvet cake plate with lace borders all in black.  It rests on a starched lace bonnet that repeats the starched lace on the bodice and from the waist hangs a double layer lace apron.  Her silk dress with velvet black trim is a delicious pomegranate red and underneath are her original and matching starched muslin undergarments.
She stands 15" tall including the hat and she has a one-piece head and shoulder plate of paper mache with painted blue eyes, closed, painted red lips, a light complexion with soft decoration and an original attached wig of brunette human hair. Her body is stuffed cloth jointed at the shoulders and hips having lower arms and legs of a lightly glazed porcelain, with her shoes being molded black slippers.  Quite a dramatic costume.

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Parian Lady with Pierced Ears

21 1/2"
The Judy McDonald Collection

Looking smart in her tailored suit, shown here is a German parian lady with a head full of molded, blond curls in an up-doo, with more curls cascading across her forehead and at the top of her neck in the back.  She has finely painted blue eyes, brows, a demure closed mouth and healthy shaded cheeks and the added feature of pierced ears with earrings.
She has glazed bisque lower arms and lower legs with molded black shoes and white stocking and what looks like her original stuffed cotton, wide-hipped body.  Her two piece suit of small black stripes on white, heavy cotton has accents of black lace as trim around the sleeves, jacket and hem.  Undergarments antique and as final touch, a vintage, tiny glass bead strand around her neck.  From the long-loved collection of Judy McDonald.

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Rare Nymphenburg China

Inspired by historical sculptures, paintings and creche figures, these serene chinas were made in the Bavaria region of Germany just after 1900, at Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory.  The downward glance of this 17" muse, gives her a serious, pensive mood and the fine quality of her china can be seen in the detail of her cafe au lait, curly locks of molded hair with a molded bow on the top of her head.  Her blue painted eyes, slightly visible under her eyelids, her elongate nose and softly blushed cheeks are mesmerizing.
Just like her head and shoulder plate, she has beautifully sculpted china hands in a delicate, open pose and her lower legs of china have molded, lace-up bootines.  Her body is cloth, jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees, she has what seems to be her original costume of silk with metallic accents, depicting late eighteenth century fashion, and she holds a celluloid fan.

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Civil War China

Rare Brown Eyes

We love our earlier china dolls, especially with the brown painted eyes and center-parted hair, but this one takes the charm a bit further with her antique, patriotic costume of red, white and blue silk.  The short bodice is a dramatic midnight blue, with her full skirt a series of wide stripes in cream and tomato red.  This costume must have been on her from her early days as it cannot be removed without damaging it.
She has dainty china lower arms and what looks to be her antique, original stuffed cotton body.  She wears some early shoes she is quite proud of, being two-toned leather boots in red and black.  She also wears a frail apron and around her neck is a piece of black early plastic or gutta percha mourning jewelry.  So endearing!   From the long-loved collection of Judy McDonald.

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Early Paper Mache Boy

Of the makers of paper mache dolls in the early to mid 1800's, the firms of Andreas Voig or Johanne Kestner come to mind for this young lad, as they were famous for the calm, careful detail applied to the hair and facial features of its subjects.  The molded, curly locks that fall onto the forehead have defined extra brush strokes, falling to partially covered ears, and the brown painted eyes, finely painted features and softly shaded cheeks make this young boy of 20" tall come alive.  He has a stout silhouette under his original, dark wool suit that retains only one of its front buttons.  He has leather arms and a cloth body, brown leather lace-up shoes, wears a cotton high-collar shirt and a very aged red ribbon tie.  From a renowned early collection here is Southern California.

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Simon Halbig Early Boy and Girl

$2275. for the pair
A delightful pair of early Simon Halbig bisque dolls (9 1/2") with molded blond hair, glass eyes, very pale complexion with soft shading and decoration, bisque lower arms and linen bodies that are jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees.  Both in regional costumes of Germany, the girl has brown glass eyes and the boy's eyes are a vibrant cobalt blue.  The girl wears her elaborate head dress, the costumes are mostly bright and in good condition, however the back of the girl's purple skirt has faded considerably and there are vertical slits on the left side of the skirt. 

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Pink Tint China

The pink tint of this 17 1/2" china's face gives her a warm presence as it reduces the contrast between her black, molded 1860 hairstyle, with ringlets all around, and her pale complexion.  Her painted blue eyes and rose shaded cheeks play beautifully against her brown and cream, fine print dress with a subtle red print on white, wide border.
She has an antique cloth body with a small patch of repair at the tops of her thighs, it is jointed at the shoulders and hips and she has china lower arms and legs with molded brown boots, white stockings and blue garters. There is some mild wear to the surface of her hair and two tiny brown spots on her lower right cheek. Undergarments all antique as is the dress.

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English Wax Lady

 What an elegant wax lady (16") in her original costume and wig, with pierced ears! Her blue glass eyes and a hint of a smile look to the side with her slightly turned shoulder head as she shows off her original earrings. A strawberry blond head of inserted mohair is swept up into an elaborate do, encircled by a long braid at the crown.
Her  rich, burgundy silk costume is in excellent condition with its black silk trim and intricate lace collar/shawl that matches the lace trim on the sleeves.  She has a sturdy cloth body with wax lower arms and hands that has stitched jointing, and as her costume is originally secured, there is a shot of her starched undergarments and black leather shoes to show a bit of what is underneath.  Her only flaw is a bit of flatness to the tip of her nose.

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Parian in Plaid

in Fancy Footwear

Always so nice to find a doll in plaid from the mid-nineteenth century, as it so represents the time by supplying a bold but conservative detail.  The warm brown and red tones in her plaid wool dress are accented by the brown velvet bodice that serves as a vest on the garment.
This beauty has blond molded locks, parted in the center and falling around the frame of her face.  Daintily painted blue eyes, ultra light cheek shading and pale bisque on head and shoulders make her a striking portrait against the richly colored costume.  Her body is cloth jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees, she has caramel brown leather arms and her lower legs are her stockings, in a blue on white fine stripe, ending with her feet which are her red leather boots.

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China in Red Cape

We can picture this 1860's china (18 1/2") making an impression in town or on the prairie,  wearing her detailed, tan cotton dress with tiny floral print and black ribbon trim around the skirt, with an apron of black leaves printed on red that matches her vibrant red wool cape. 
  She has the flat top, 1860's hairdo with ringlet curls all around, deeply sloping shoulders, blue painted eyes and quality molding.  Her cloth body is antique, with china lower arms, and her detailed, antique undergarments complete her ensemble..  

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All Original Milliners Model

How special to find an incredibly well preserved, original German Milliners model (13") from the early 1850's.  Her paper mache head has a beautiful original complexion with painted feathers and her molded, painted black chair is center-parted with ringlet curls all around the back.  She has the typical leather body with wooden lower arms and lower legs, with orange painted slippers, all in very nice condition.
Her original, endearing, two-piece cotton suit in a blue and white print with fringed trim has underneath it two layers of slips, one them with a tiny print of its own!  She also has a string of tiny beads around her neck, but it is not known if this was added at some point.

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American Wooden Doll of Springfield, Vermont

In the early 1870's, there was a circle of companies who produced these detailed, sturdy and uniquely jointed dolls, starting with Joel Ellis, who was known first for his carriages, Henry Mason, and Luke Taylor, to name the ones that are best known.  This example (11 1/2") has the distinct details of what is called the Mason Taylor doll, made of carved and finely articulated maple wood, with lower arms and legs, hands and feet of heavy metal such as pewter.
Extraordinary on this doll is the condition of her painted surfaces, namely the swivel head, shoulders and lower limbs, as usually the paint has either worn off or has been "played" off by children enjoying the great versatility of this sturdy subject.  She retains her sky blue painted eyes, richly carved curls, painted blond with some surface wear, a clean, smooth complexion, cream painted hands and stockings, with that sky blue repeating on her metal boots. The makers promoted the advantage of not having to dress this sturdy doll, however that didn't stop an enthusiastic mother or child to make a full cotton outfit including a two-piece plaid cotton dress, a complimentary apron and cotton undergarments.  All look to be made during her early era and are so charming on her.  To find one in this condition is exciting!

more Early Dolls go to page 2


Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

      Cell (818) 738-4591   n Home Phone (818) 562-7839 

Don't  forget to look at the Miscellaneous page!

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