I just love this photo! Children in a basket on their porch on a sunny day – along with their calico cat and German dolly! Precious! I owned a calico cat when I was growing up; perhaps this is why I’m so fond of this image!
Judging from the children’s clothing and hair styles, the photo seems to date from about 1920. The doll appears to be one of modest price and quality, made by a German firm like Armand Marseille or Cuno & Otto Dressel. She has a typical “dolly-face” of the period.
The article below, from About.com, describes the “dolly-faced” dolls made during the early part of the 20th century and explains how these dolls differ from “character” dolls.
The German “dolly-faced” child dolls are the ubiquitous antique bisque dolls that collectors today are most likely to find, produced from 1890 to about 1930, from such manufacturers as Armand Marseille, Simon and Halbig, K*R, and Kestner. Most of these dolls came from the Thuringia region, which had rich clay deposits used to make the porcelain. Many of the German dolly-faced dolls are unmarked as to manufacturer, and there are many manufacturers that had their names and other details literally obliterated by the World Wars. The most sought-after of the German dolls of the early 20th century are the character-faced dolls, produced in response to consumer demands for more realistic-looking children dolls. Kämmer and Reinhardt, Heubach and Kestner produced many high-quality expressive character dolls which are eagerly sought by collectors today. Also eagerly sought by collectors are all-bisque dolls (head, torso and limbs all made of bisque) from manufacturers such as Kestner, Heubach, and Simon and Halbig.
For German bisque dolls, as with all antique dolls, remember that quality varies widely even within one manufacturer’s products–dolls with finely detailed features (such as feathered brows and individual upper and lower eyelashes) and pale bisque are always preferred over dolls with single-stroke or other simplified features and darkly tinted bisque. Also, today’s collectors prefer closed-mouth bisque dolls, since many fewer of them were produced than open-mouth dolls. Common German bisque dolls of average quality which are unmarked or from Armand Marseille can be found for as little as $200 or $300, with prices for sought-after German characters soaring into the thousands.