Hans and Gretchen

Reproduction closed mouth socket heads (circumference 9 inches) with solemn pouty faces. Mould number KR114, using the Seeleys mould S7.
Restored as children using a composition Byron body 479. The boy has painted eyes and the girl has blown glass eyes. They are dressed in wool and cotton clothes, with mohair wigs, and straw boaters. See below for further construction details.
Original dolls from Kämmer and Reinhardt who made dolls in Walterhausen from 1886-1933. They first introduced a bisque character doll in the 1900s, (so-called "Kaiser" baby), starting a trend of creating realistic dolls. In 1909 Karl Krauser sculpted the grandchild of Franz Reinhardt, from which the 114 was introduced in 1910. [Antique Dolls of China and Bisque Marjorie Fainges Page 103].

The boy doll in this pair was the last (and best) doll I completed before my short break from doll-making; I was very proud of him. I think I prefer the painted eye version of this antique doll; however the glass-eyed original is rarer and thus more valuable. Nonetheless I always intended to make him a sister with glass eyes, and had completed a head only to find that it had cracked across the bridge of the nose due to my enthusiastic bevelling; I noticed the crack only after painting was complete. So he had to wait a few years for his sister but here she finally is. I wanted the pair of them to look a little "bundled up" in their clothing, as Victorian children were, and like they were trying to enjoy a day on the beach in fine English weather. I was pretty pleased with the overall effect.
I copied the boy's outfit from a picture in one of the old Wanke catalogues. He is not exactly in a sailor suit. He has a cotton shirt trimmed with broderie anglais and a royal blue necktie. His trousers are navy blue wool with a side-buttoning waistband. He wears black socks inside brown gloving leather boots made up of several sections with decorative black top stitching and brass buttons up the side. His hair is made from mohair locks which I combed washed and dyed blond. I have let the mohair take up its natural curl to produce an all-over curly effect.
I copied the girl's dress from one shown in the Florence Theriault book In Their Fashion [Page 77]. It is made of the same navy wool as the boy's trousers. I pleated the bodice section prior to cutting the shape, and box-pleated the skirt section using a pleater. I applied the off-white cotton tape (vintage) some of which I folded to make thinner stripes but some of which I cut and fray checked (for the bottom of the skirt). I was especially pleased with the result - but pride comes before a fall - I was looking in the Theriault website one day only to find that they sell facsimiles of this outfit ready-made.
The girls boots are the simplest I have ever made being of two basic pieces, and giving a good fit; they have a wide front opening with cross straps (on which I have put decorative buckles), and you can adjust these to be exactly the right length to fit the doll's calf. You can also view the doll's nice hand knitted white cotton socks through the front opening. This doll's underwear was made in cotton from a pattern "7 at one stroke" appearing in the Gildebrief magazine [1999 Volume 1]; she looked so very nice all in her white shift it was a shame to cover her up, (which was good since she was in her underwear for quite some time). I decided I must make a KR114 girl in a white sailor suit in future. Her hair is made from the same mohair as the boy's, but I used longer pieces with the natural curl.
All the other items like the hats and boats were purchased. They are not especially fine quality pieces but suitable.