Simon and Halbig

Reproduction SH1079 open mouth with teeth, socket head (circumference 6.5 inches) from a one-off original mould on a 20cm composition Byron French body.
Reproduced as child doll. See below for further construction details.
Original doll by Simon and Halbig, a porcelain maker that was founded in Grafenhain, Thuringia, Germany in 1869. Primarily they manufactured dolls, but they also produced doll heads for other companies such as Kammer and Reinhardt, C. M. Bergmann, Heinrich Handwerck, Franz Schmidt, and Dressel. They remained in business until around 1930, but were bought by Kammer and Reinhardt in 1920, and some dolls bear both manufacturers marks. This company produced a large variety of dolls and some of them can be extremely valuable. SH1079 is not a rare doll and was produced in many sizes.

[Jan Foulke's Simon and Halbig Dolls, Pages 75-78]


I wanted to make a doll with a wardrobe but as yet have not managed to interest myself in lady dolls with thousands of detailed little possessions. I was however inspired by the book Bleuette: the Doll and Her Wardrobe by Barbara Hiliker. I used the patterns in this book as well as some of the huge number of patterns published over the past years in Doll Crafter and Doll Costuming magazines. There is a lot of reference information about Bleuettes as they are very popular these days; however I do not think they are very pretty dolls. I am sure they are cute and a delight to own, but mostly not very pretty. Thus I chose to make Simon and Halbig 1079, and steal her clothes from Bleuette's vast range of outfits. Here they are:

The SH1079 is a very pretty little doll that was made in a huge range of sizes. I have two "Rescue" heads - one in a very small size (probably a 6 or 8 inch doll when I restore it) and one which will probably be about 16 inches in height. Dolls of this type can be seen at auction as much as 36 inches in height or more. In addition to the section in Jan Foulke's book referenced above, there are 4 photographs of SH1079 in Antique Dolls of China and Bisque by Marjory Fainges, where SH1079 appears in the guise of a swimming doll, as well as her more usual forms.
Bleuette is a doll that was offered to young girls in France from 1905-1960, and was only available through La Semaine de Suzette, a weekly periodical for girls. The magazine was filled with games, crafts, recipes and stories along with patterns to make clothing for Bleuette. There were more than 1,060 patterns published over the 55 years Bleuette was produced. The first Bleuette dolls are known as the "Première Bleuette". These dolls were given free to girls for placing an order for a one-year subscription to La Semaine de Suzette before its first publication (February 1905) and only available until one month after publication (March 1905). There were 20,000 Première dolls ordered for the initial advertisement that offered a Jumeau doll (made by Société Francçaise de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets or also known as S.F.B.J.) and 60,000 subscription forms were received for the magazine. The first supply of Bleuettes were gone before the first issue was even released. A different mould was found to replace the Première head and over the years, Bleuette's head changed several times.
Although I obviously wanted to play with the doll and clothes (driven by an unrequited urge to own a Sindy doll when I was 8) she has a new life now with Fran - and a new identity as Alice. I may assuage my urges by making more outfits; there are so many authentic patterns to choose from, covering so many fashion eras. Who knows? So many ideas but so little time.