Kestner XI

Reproduction closed mouth, socket head (circumference 8 inches) from early Seeley mould on composition Byron body 413. Reproduced as child doll.
Dress made of cotton muslin overlaid with vintage lace; hand knitted cotton socks, and black leather shoes.See below for further construction details.
Original doll credited to J. D. Kestner who made dolls in Walterhausen in Germany from 1823 to 1938. There is no concrete proof that Kestner made these dolls marked only X and XI, but they are attributed to him through their key characteristics in fabrication and painting. They date probably from the 1880's; in 1892 mould numbers appeared and in 1896 the JDK crown mark was registered.[Kestner King of Dollmakers Jan Foulke, Pages 27-30, Illustations pages 2 and 10].

I think this is a really lovely face, small featured and delicate. There are many examples in books to view and be charmed by. Seeleys offer a mould for the XI doll, (as used for my doll), Byron have one for the X and XI, and Bells have the XII; they are all similar sized I believe, making a 13 to 14 inch doll. I have put my doll on a French body as it fitted the size quite well - I have no other excuse.
I used the same Joan Nerini pattern used for the PD as a basis for the dress, but made it up differently, cutting the sleeves using the "sleeve lining" pieces of the pattern as I did not want such a puffed effect. I copied the style of the dress from a photograph of an SFBJ doll. I had some vintage lace pieces that I wanted to use (and I did use every scrap of them). Because I had two uneven sections of the lace, I had to piece in an extra motif at the back of the dress to achieve sufficient fullness. The body of the dress and the underskirt is made of white muslin, (looseweave thin cotton), which I have pin-tucked using my sewing machine (pin-tuck foot - another gadget of the moment for me I'm afraid). I finished the dress with a vintage stiff satin ribbon, rosettes, and beads in cream. I made the underskirt fully gathered but did not have enough lace to do the same for the overskirt; I did this intentionally but it was a mistake and if I did it again would gather under and overskirts together as normal, (less full).
Socks are hand-knitted in Coats Crochet cotton No. 40 from a pattern leaflet Yesterdays Knitting Patterns for Antique and Reproduction Dolls [Doll Designs by Patricia Evans and Jane Woodbridge]. The shoes are in black gloving leather with a picot edged trim; I used a pattern from the workbook supplied by Goodie Twoshoes and their mini-eyelet setter. The underwear is made of white muslin, with petticoat and knickers decoratively pin-tucked and edged with lace. The doll's wig is made from permed processed rope mohair in dark brown, applied on a shaped milliner's buckram base.