This gorgeous sepia-toned photo is framed in brass and may have actually served as a flue cover at one time. It is the size and shape of flue covers of the Victorian era.
In any case, the image of the girl and doll is as sweet as I’ve ever seen. I love the girl’s over-sized hair bow and her loving gaze. Although I’m not sure, it’s possible that the doll in the photo was manufactured by the German company Schoenau & Hoffmeister. She looks like the doll mold #1909 that the company produced in the early 1900’s. I have added a picture of a doll of the same mold at the bottom of the page! Do you see the resemblance too?
According to the website http://www.dollreference.com,
“Schoenau & Hoffmeister porcelain factory was located in Burggrub, Germany and was founded by Arthur Schoenau & Carl Hoffmeister in 1901. By 1907 the two partners were in disagreement of the type of porcelain heads for their dolls. Carl Hoffmeister insisted on producing shoulder head dolls while Arthur Schoenau wanted to produce socket head dolls. Unable to resolve there differences Carl Hoffmeister left and Arthur Schoenau became it’s sole owner.
In 1911 Arthur passed away and his son Hans Schoenau took over as director of the company. Sometime later Arthur’s widow Caroline & son Curt Schoenau took over the directorship. It was Curt who supplied their sculptor Carl Schneider with a photo of Princess Elizabeth that was used for their famous Princess Elizabeth doll.
Some of their trademark names were: Bébé Carmencita, Burggrub Baby, Das Lachende (DALABA – The Laughing baby), Hanna, Künstlerkopf (art head doll), My Cherub, Princess Elizabeth and Viola.”
The company typically marked their dolls on the back of their heads with a star, “SPBH,” and the mold number. I have added an image of a typical Schoenau & Hoffmeister marking at the end of the page. Sometimes the dolls from this company are confused with those produced by the Simon & Halbig company since both companies’ initials are the same.
Schoenau & Hoffmeister dolls are especially dear to me because my great-grandmother owned one as a child. I was still in elementary school when my paternal grandparents died but I remember my parents finding a very old doll in their attic when they were cleaning out their house. The doll was too old to have been my grandmother’s so we speculated that she belonged to my great-grandmother, Thelma. The doll was dirty, her hair was matted, and she was dressed in rags. I could still see her beauty through all of her flaws. I had never seen a doll like her before and was quite fascinated. My mom had her restored – thus beginning her antique doll collection.
**photos of flue cover and quilt courtesy of Sage Patch (http://www.sagepatch.com)**