Posts Tagged "over 100 years old"

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” has been an American classic for over 150 years. It is a story of suspense and adventure; of love and hope. It’s no surprise that The Boston Sunday Globe chose characters from the novel as the subject of one of its paper doll supplements in 1896!

Paper toys as newspaper supplements have an interesting history!  The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild describes this history in the following passage:

The Boston Herald began printing paper dolls in the 1890s. Two lady fashion dolls –one blonde, one brunette- were issued in the paper, and others could be ordered. Costumes in subsequent issues fit the dolls first shown. The Boston Globe soon followed with their own unusual paper dolls to put together. In 1907 and 1908, a Teddy Bear series was published, and in 1910, a family. After 1900, the Boston Post printed a series about Little Polly and Her Paper Playmates with the popular addition of Polly’s older sister Prue, all in full color. The Sunshine Paper Dolls series appeared in The Boston American and The Buffalo Express in 1916.

Paper dolls enjoyed a huge resurgence in newspapers during the Great Depression, when much entertainment could be had for a nickel from the comics and the paper dolls that often appeared in them. Some paper doll characters sprang directly from the comics: the Katzenjammer Kids, Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr, Daisy Mae and Li’l Abner, Fritzy Ritz and Jane Arden. Other newspapers had their own paper doll features, such as Mopsy, Boots and Millie.

I love newspaper paper dolls!  I’m sure Victorian boys and girls looked forward to getting the Sunday paper so they could engage in playtime with their new toy!  Such simple fun!


Every little girl knows the story of Cinderella.  It is a tale of hardship and happy endings; of romance and true love.  Many of us probably even imagined that we were Cinderella and dreamed about our handsome prince finding us and living happily ever after!

This wonderful children’s book by McLoughlin tells the age-old tale in a slightly different fashion – through the eyes of a theatergoer viewing a stage production!  As the reader turns the pages, theatergoers in their boxes can be seen on additional flaps on the sides of the book.  

McLoughlin published at least two other stories in this format: Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood.  These theater-shaped books were patented by McLoughlin in 1891 and known as the “proscenium format.”

The chromolithographs found throughout the book are amazing! 

I think this book is so special because it tells two stories simultaneously: the story of Cinderella and the story of the excitement and glamour of a night at the theater! 

If you’re interested in purchasing this treasure, it is currently listed on EBay.  I sell under the ID Elszen.



What a unusual doll! This little all bisque German character doll measures only 2 1/2″ high! The most charming aspect of this little boy is that his mouth, arm, and thumb are molded so he can suck his thumb!

The doll is only marked with a faint number 6 on his back. He is of good quality and might be by Gebruder Heubach, a dollmaker known for his miniature all bisque dolls with expressive faces.

According to Dolls in the Looking Glass: The Joy E. Orozco Collection:

In 1843, two brothers, Georg Christoph and Philipp Jakob Heubach, purchased an existing porcelain factory in Lichte, Germany, for the purpose of making household pottery, figurines, and novelties. The brothers were part of a family of ten children, several of whom were also active in the porcelain industry. The factory continued in the family until 1938 when the firm filed for bankruptcy. The company began making doll heads in 1910 and made mostly character heads and small all-bisque dolls for dollhouses. They produced thousands of head models for many German and American dollmakers. They employed especially skillful modelers, many of whom were trained at the school for sculptors in Lichte founded by Gebrüder Heubach in 1862. The heads often had molded hair and intaglio eyes, a technique used to create an illusion of depth and realism in painted eyes. Although Gebrüder Heubach dolls were economically produced for the less affluent trade, the modeling of the doll heads was artistically exceptional. From the childlike hair styles to dimples on chins, Heubach heads were natural portraits of expressive children. Heubach produced an unusually large number of boy doll heads, many of which were distinctively male.

Even if this little fellow isn’t by Heubach, he sure is adorable!

If you’re interested in learning more about all bisque dolls, the book below is a great reference!

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)**


Young girls have enjoyed paper doll sets for centuries!  They have provided an inexpensive but fun form of entertainment.  I too loved paper dolls when I was a child.  I remember my mother buying me a Princess Diana set in the early 1980’s when she and my dad went away for the weekend and I was left to stay with my grandparents.  I delighted in carefully cutting out the clothes and later playing with the doll and her massive wardrobe. 

This set called, “Nancy Fancy,” is one of the earliest American paper dolls ever produced.  It is by McLoughlin who was at one time the largest manufacturer of paper dolls and children’s books in the United States. 

Nancy and her clothes are hand-colored.  This set appears to tell a “Cinderella Story” as the set includes both rags and finery for Nancy to wear.  She measures about 5″ tall and is in remarkably good condition for her age.  It’s difficult to find paper doll sets of this era with their original envelopes.  She may be missing a dress as the set doesn’t have the outfit pictured on the envelope.

Antique paper dolls are one of my favorite collectibles.  Visit the link below to learn more about their history!  Enjoy!

http://www.victoriana.com/paperdolls/paperdolls.htm