Heubach 300

Salvaged socket head (circumference 7.5 inches) with dimpled face, 2 upper teeth and many blemishes. Marked 'Heubach Koppelsdorf 300. 10/0 Germany'. [Antique Dolls of China and Bisque Marjorie Fainges Page 89.]
Restored as toddler using a reproduction composition bent-leg baby body with reproduction: tongue, fixed glass eyes, mohair wig, cotton clothes and underclothes, knitted bonnet. See below for further construction details.
Made by Ernst Heubach (1887-1932) porcelain factory in Koppelsdorf Germany. These character bisque heads, mould numbers 300, 320, and 310, were introduced around 1910. They were originally made with sleep eyes and some had wobbling tongues. The firm merged with Armand Marseille in 1919 but they separated again in 1932.

The sheer charm of this doll was clear even in her unconstructed state. The painting is so vivid the doll has a wonderful eager look; I have to confess I envy the ability to emulate this in a reproduction. These dolls must have been made by the dozen and yet the skill of those swift paint strokes in creating the character face is very clear in the result. This doll has multiple brush strokes making the eyebrow, and her teeth are original. Some of the paint was missing on the forehead but this is hidden by the wig. I am not fond of baby dolls but this one is delightful.

In order to 'rescue' her everything other than the ceramic head and original painting is new. I added new stationary blue blown-glass eyes (supplied by Sheer Elegance) and used an old reproduction bent-leg baby body made by Seeleys. I made and painted a new porcelain tongue. I made the all-over curled wig by perming strands of processed rope mohair, and attaching to a milliner's buckram wig base, shaped around the head. The pate was made by recycling cardboard used to transport fruit. (You can still obtain it even though often now they use polystyrene - one box makes a lot of doll pates). I knitted the bonnet and boottees from a pattern in Heirloom Knitting for Dolls by Furze Hewitt, using No 30 crochet cotton. The smock-style dress is of a fabric from a quilt shop, which tend to specialise in pure cotton fabrics and tiny patterns. This floral pattern was very suitable but is one of the thicker fabrics so I had to keep the style simple. I used antique lace (well vintage anyway). I acquire small amounts of lace at every antiques fair I attend; however, I never seem to have "just the thing" when I make dolls clothes, if that is of any comfort to anyone.

As a blank head I kept calling the doll 'him' - something to do with no hair - and he would have made a charming boy. However once I had made the wig 'he' seems clearly 'she'.

Other references in The Art of Dolls 1700-1940 Madeline Osborne Merrill [Figure 667, Page 291] and Heubach Character Dolls and Figurines Lydia Richter and Karin Schmelcher [Figure 240, Page 132].