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Nelling, Inc.

E a r l y   D o l l s

page  1, 2

(Click on photos to enlarge) 

Jenny Lind China


Depicting the famous Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind, who took the world by storm in the 1850's, is this lovely china (24 1/2") made in Germany, possibly by Alt, Beck and Gottschalk. She has her signature, loosely pulled back hairdo that culminates into a braided, rear bun, with a few white rubs on protruding edges. Parted in the middle with covered ears, you can see fine strands of hair strokes at the temples. She has a slightly full face, blue painted eyes, orange upper eylid strokes for depth, and beautifully shaped, red painted lips. 

Her slim neck and a down sloping china shoulder plate is attached to her cloth body with something similar to hemming cord. The front right corner edge of the shoulder plate has chipped off, only interrupting one of the sew holes. Her cloth body has china lower arms and hands and is of a very early ecru cotton, having a pronounced inward curve at the waist. It is not know if the corset-like sewn fabric at that spot is a repair or an intentional detail.

She has gray/ brown and burgundy striped wool socks and high quality, antique black lace-up boots that were too precarious to attempt removing without damaging them. Also shown is what appears to be her original chemise due to it's precise shape and fit, also antique pantaloons and slip, and a black silk dress that while fragile in several spots, and made at the same time she was, is serious and perfect on her.

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English Wooden Child with Endearing Presence

$12,900.  ON HOLD

Along with representing a child, this late, George III English wooden (20") has that special something that only the esoteric changes of time and the natural combination of presentation details can provide. Carved by a wood worker at the very end of the eighteenth century, she has the simpler details of features typical of the examples from that time, but her simpatica personality makes her stand out and almost come to life. She has the darkest brown enamel eyes, one-stroke brows, long pronounced nose, demure smiling painted red lips, rosy complexion and rouged cheeks that combined together give her an endearing energy.

Her brunette, human hair curls are secured to the top of her head and the unrestored surface of her face shows the tracks of play and adoration starting 225 years ago! Acceptable and not distracting for a true lover of antique woodens.  Her rounded head and simply carved torso are one piece, as are her carved wooden legs being only jointed at the hips.  Her arms are of original kid leather, both of which have had a patch added at the elbows later on. Her feet are crudely carved then tinted in a cadmium red paint, with the left one having the front tip chipped off (hidden in the shoe).

Now to her original clothing, that consists of a pre-Regency, long gown of diaphenous fabric, having the new, linear silhouette that drew from the fashions of ancient Greece. She remarkably retains the matching cap in the same fabric, with the same silk ribbon pleated trim as the bodice of the dress. Not to mention the adorable silk slippers with a bit of metallic trim. The pillow with the embroidered “B” has been given to her, however the chair is not for sale and just a prop.

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Petite Early Wax Child


What a dear little wax doll (61/2") to hold in your hand for a close look at her toddler-like, full face with realistically painted blue eyes, a semi-smiling closed mouth and remnants of her fine eyebrows on her pale wax complexion. The passage of time and handling has caused some surface rubs and abrasions on her chubby face. She has a wig of fine blond human hair in tiny curls, and her one-piece head and shoulder plate is mounted on a firm cloth body, jointed with stitching at the shoulders and hips, and having wax lower arms and legs. Her light-weight peach dress of antique wool has a matching bonnet with an unruly tassel-like trim and she wears snugly-fitting white leather slippers with tiny pearl buckles.

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Early Grodnertal Wooden

Original Condition and Clothing


Dating from the early Regency period before 1820 comes this fine, carved wooden doll from the Grodnertal region of Germany near the Austrian and Italian Alps. She is quite an early one due to the extreme egg shape of her head and she has lots of carved detail to her painted black hair along with the strokes of hair along her forehead and mustard-gold painted tuck comb. She has the original paint on her face that has finely detailed features including her tiny bluish-gray eyes, perky nose, exposed molded ears and pursed little red lips.

Her body is of wood and fully jointed with painted lower arms and legs with the feet being carved slippers that are painted cadmium red. The right foot has had a small painted repair that is difficult to detect without magnification. Her original dress is a fragile black silk one-piece number with a full skirt, tucked in waist, shawl type collar line and tied at the middle with a burgundy velvet ribbon. Her undergarments are also original and although her dress has many weak spots, it displays well with a minor amount of positioning.

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Eighteenth Century Wooden Doll, in Paper Covered Wood Presentation Box


Embedded in a circular antique wooden box that is covered in primitive wallpaper is a 6 1/2” carved wooden doll that is surrounded by an organic floral splay of natural fibers, paper flowers and petite wood creatures. The diameter of the box is 12” and the whole presentation looks like it served as a greeting or gift showing love, friendship or appreciation. The figure has a painted, carved head bearing a smiling expression, with the arms of bent wire, forearms of metal and hands, body and legs of wood.

 Just like the fine cotton fibers creating the foundation or “mattress” inside the box, so is her full head of hair, however it is died a vibrant auburn color. The same fibers adorn her silk gown and she has a fabric, drawstring purse that matches her short cape. Attached all around her are various representations of nature made of natural materials, such as shapes of seashells, blossoms, cones, some actual bird feathers and intricately created paper floral details.


There are also tiny, painted wood garden creatures intermingled into the canvas of curiosities. The piece is probably a Continental piece, definitely something not rarely discovered and a treasure for an early doll collector. It can be supported and displayed on a wooden plate-holder.


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German Wax Over Composition Motchsman Doll


For some collectors, the early baby is a magical category all its own, where numerous mediums have been used to depict the history of the infant doll. This outstanding example (16") has an impeccable delicate layer of wax over a composition head, with cornflower blue enamel eyes, gentle decoration and shading of facial features, nicely molded ears, and strategically painted wisps of hair on the head. The wax covered head swivels on a pale, molded composition shoulder plate, whose material and surface is repeated at the hips, lower arms, lower legs and jointed hands and feet. These sections of the body are attached with stuffed linen fabric that provides a special softness of movement.

This is the style of body labeled taufling which was first seen in ancient Asian dolls ad was adopted by doll manufacturers of the mid-19th century in Germany and France, such as Motschman and Steiner. They continued to be an inspiration into the late 1800's. The historical importance of this doll in a collection does not stop with the ingenious head and body type. It is wearing its original, white cotton infant clothing and swaddling in its original white padded bunting, with rows of ruffled eyelet trim and closing in the front with double bow ties. So complete and tidy, and topped off with a simple, white cotton bonnet.  Faint, short, minute line in wax on upper right eyelid.                                                            LW

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English Poured Wax Child


Having the timid face found on the Pierotti maker of early English wax dolls, we have an endearing example (17") with a turned should head, blue glass eyes, open-closed mouth and short curls of blond, inset baby hair. There are a few minute dings in the wax on the face, but they are not distracting in the general presentation of the doll.

The lower arms and legs are also of wax are are in very good condition with the body being cloth stuffed with what feels like a fiber or horse hair.  Quite lovely and pristine is the multi-layered, early cotton dress and undergarments, topped with an early white cotton bonnet. Both bonnet and dress and pantaloons have hand-stitched, eyelet detail, so popular at this mid 19th century period of time.  It's that enfantine silhouette we love!                                                          LW

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Rare and Early Apollo Knot Paper Mache


The genuine presence of this German paper mache young lady (15 1/4") with rare Apollo knot molded hair style is strong, as everything is original about her. Her black painted, molded hairstyle in an elevated high knot is a visual time stamp from the 1830's. On a paper mache shoulder head that has a pale complexion with original paint, the ages have caused some surface crazing that is expected, as well as a rub to the tip of the nose. The blue painted eyes seem to stand out on her otherwise subtle palate, however she has a subdued dark lip stain and blushed cheeks to add a bit more color.

    The body is in the Milliners style, a slim, cork stuffed kid leather with wood lower arms and legs and her feet are pointed, carved wood slippers in a verdant olive tone. Although her original silk dress is very melted, the texture of its loosely woven threads keeps in in place enough to be safely appreciated and maintained for the sake of precious originality. This statuesque and richly impressive piece of 3-D artwork comes with several pieces of provenance in written form that track some of her history.

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Highly Decorated Parian

Fancy Hairdo and Pierced Ears


The added color in the molded shoulder plate of this 1870 parian lady is an unexpected detail that plays off her muted costume of plaid brown and black tones. She has white parian bisque with blue painted eyes with eyelids highlighted in red, a pursed red mouth, elongated nose, pierced ears and a blond molded head full of separated curls and waves.

The colorful shoulder plate is decorated with a neat, white molded blouse, a ruffled and glazed pink trimmed collar, tied up with a blue glazed bow edged in gold at the center of the neck, with collar detail continuing on to the back. Her original body is of linen cloth with white kid leather, cotton-stuffed arms, one of which is quite split at the seams. Her finely made antique dress of the late 1860's is of a brown and black plaid silk which is quite sturdy and she has lovely, layered antique undergarments and antique leather slippers.

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Multi-detailed Parian Lady

$1,975.   ON HOLD

The impact of this statuesque parian (23") is immediate, with her heavily decoration shoulder plate, intricate molded hairdo, pierced ears and masterful facial decoration. Her blue painted eyes, elongated nose and strong chin are surrounded by rows of blond molded curls in a classic 1870 updo that is held in place by an ornamental, molded black hairband. And if you haven't already noticed, her shoulders and collar area consist of a perfectly molded white shirt with painted blue borders and hanging from her neck is a striking, molded black cross.

The shirt and trim detail continues around the collar to the back. Her body is a linen type cloth, jointed by stitching at the shoulders, and hips, with parian molded lower arms and hands and quite unusual molded lower legs and shoes that have black, two strap ballerina type slippers. Her cotton undergarments are all antique is is her early, white floor length dress that is drawn at the waist and collar with long cotton ties.

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!

[ home ] [ about us ] [ accessories ] [ all bisques ]  [ early ]  [ fashion dolls ] [ french dolls ] [ furniture ] [ german dolls ] [ misc. dolls ] [ policies ]