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Nelling, Inc.

E a r l y   D o l l s

page  1, 2

(Click on photos to enlarge) 

Rare Nymphenburg China

Inspired by historical sculptures, paintings and creche figures, these serene chinas were made in the Bavaria region of Germany just after 1900, at Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory.  The downward glance of this 17" muse, gives her a serious, pensive mood and the fine quality of her china can be seen in the detail of her cafe au lait, curly locks of molded hair with a molded bow on the top of her head.  Her blue painted eyes, slightly visible under her eyelids, her elongate nose and softly blushed cheeks are mesmerizing.
Just like her head and shoulder plate, she has beautifully sculpted china hands in a delicate, open pose and her lower legs of china have molded, lace-up bootines.  Her body is cloth, jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees, she has what seems to be her original costume of silk with metallic accents, depicting late eighteenth century fashion, and she holds a celluloid fan.

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Early Wooden Doll of Oberammergau

24" Exquisite Signed Lady of 1807
Very seldom in our collecting journey do we get a chance to hold one of these artistic masterpieces in our hands, especially with the doll in such natural condition.  From the German city of Oberammergau, where every decade the tradition of the "Passion Play" takes place, she steps off the page of an art history book and provides us with a three-dimensional study.
She is completely made of wood, and starting with her head, she has finely carved, adult features that are quite human and thoughtful in placement, and a quarter turn reveals her facial profile with her stately long nose, demure lips, feminine short chin and graceful elongated neck.  Even her ears are finely detailed and the wig is removable to reveal her egg-shaped bald head with dark olive circle painted around the top.  Her shoulders have extra anatomical carving and there is a raised edge to simulate the collar of the dress with the breasts enclosed.
Her hands are carved in the most graceful pose and her feet are carved, pointed slippers painted in an ancient orange tone (One of the feet has split and been re-glued at the arch).  Differing from the pale, painted head, shoulders, lower arms and lower legs, her multi-articulated body is left in its original wood finish and on the back of her derriere is what looks like the signature of the artist (illegible) and the year 1807. Her only original garment is the slim, A-lined linen undergarment, however her chiffon, Grecian inspired gown and shawl are made in the last 40 years and her raven, human hair wig with tousled curls is antique.  From a private collection.

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Early Paper Mache Boy

Of the makers of paper mache dolls in the early to mid 1800's, the firms of Andreas Voig or Johanne Kestner come to mind for this young lad, as they were famous for the calm, careful detail applied to the hair and facial features of its subjects.  The molded, curly locks that fall onto the forehead have defined extra brush strokes, falling to partially covered ears, and the brown painted eyes, finely painted features and softly shaded cheeks make this young boy of 20" tall come alive.  He has a stout silhouette under his original, dark wool suit that retains only one of its front buttons.  He has leather arms and a cloth body, brown leather lace-up shoes, wears a cotton high-collar shirt and a very aged red ribbon tie.  From a renowned early collection here is Southern California.

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Simon Halbig Early Boy and Girl

$2275. for the pair
A delightful pair of early Simon Halbig bisque dolls (9 1/2") with molded blond hair, glass eyes, very pale complexion with soft shading and decoration, bisque lower arms and linen bodies that are jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees.  Both in regional costumes of Germany, the girl has brown glass eyes and the boy's eyes are a vibrant cobalt blue.  The girl wears her elaborate head dress, the costumes are mostly bright and in good condition, however the back of the girl's purple skirt has faded considerably and there are vertical slits on the left side of the skirt. 

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Pink Tint China

The pink tint of this 17 1/2" china's face gives her a warm presence as it reduces the contrast between her black, molded 1860 hairstyle, with ringlets all around, and her pale complexion.  Her painted blue eyes and rose shaded cheeks play beautifully against her brown and cream, fine print dress with a subtle red print on white, wide border.
She has an antique cloth body with a small patch of repair at the tops of her thighs, it is jointed at the shoulders and hips and she has china lower arms and legs with molded brown boots, white stockings and blue garters. There is some mild wear to the surface of her hair and two tiny brown spots on her lower right cheek. Undergarments all antique as is the dress.

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Early Paper Mache Man

Paper Mache dolls portraying men became more popular in the 1830's and from that period comes this dapperly dressed example (19 1/2") that could be the product of the Andreas Voigt company. Note the fine wisps of single brush strokes on the forehead, the gently detailed application of facial features including blue painted eyes and softly blushed cheeks, the partially exposed ears and hair molded forward from the back.
His multi-layered suit of antique wool silk and cotton has the typical 1830's high collar and lapels, the short jacket with elongated tails in the back, slim camel colored trousers and a silk vest over his white shirt that coordinates the ensemble.  He has wood lower arms and legs with a long and lean stuffed leather body.  He is from a renowned early collection here in Southern California and has no repaint.

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American Wooden Doll of Springfield, Vermont

In the early 1870's, there was a circle of companies who produced these detailed, sturdy and uniquely jointed dolls, starting with Joel Ellis, who was known first for his carriages, Henry Mason, and Luke Taylor, to name the ones that are best known.  This example (11 1/2") has the distinct details of what is called the Mason Taylor doll, made of carved and finely articulated maple wood, with lower arms and legs, hands and feet of heavy metal such as pewter.
Extraordinary on this doll is the condition of her painted surfaces, namely the swivel head, shoulders and lower limbs, as usually the paint has either worn off or has been "played" off by children enjoying the great versatility of this sturdy subject.  She retains her sky blue painted eyes, richly carved curls, painted blond with some surface wear, a clean, smooth complexion, cream painted hands and stockings, with that sky blue repeating on her metal boots. The makers promoted the advantage of not having to dress this sturdy doll, however that didn't stop an enthusiastic mother or child to make a full cotton outfit including a two-piece plaid cotton dress, a complimentary apron and cotton undergarments.  All look to be made during her early era and are so charming on her.  To find one in this condition is exciting!

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English Wax Lady

 What an elegant wax lady (16") in her original costume and wig, with pierced ears! Her blue glass eyes and a hint of a smile look to the side with her slightly turned shoulder head as she shows off her original earrings. A strawberry blond head of inserted mohair is swept up into an elaborate do, encircled by a long braid at the crown.
Her  rich, burgundy silk costume is in excellent condition with its black silk trim and intricate lace collar/shawl that matches the lace trim on the sleeves.  She has a sturdy cloth body with wax lower arms and hands that has stitched jointing, and as her costume is originally secured, there is a shot of her starched undergarments and black leather shoes to show a bit of what is underneath.  Her only flaw is a bit of flatness to the tip of her nose.

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Parian with Alice Hairdo

Dramatic Outfit

This doll compels us to use the word "awesome" like it is meant to be used.  Her stature, rare hairdo, demure molding and painting, and her superb, multi-layer outfit make her an all important example of her type. Her gentle face has impeccable painting, blue eyes and the palest of complexion while her soft, blond molded locks are pulled back into a black molded hairband and rear ringlet curls, supplying the desirable "Alice" hairdo.
Her equally pale shoulder plate has lifelike molding on the chest and is attached with fabric cord to her antique cloth body with leather arms and lower legs that are cream with red striped stockings.  At the base of her neck is a curious area that hints of some overpaint, however it does not black-light and is so invisible it is elusive and questionable, however must be mentioned.
Her clothing is extraordinary, with a tiny red print on white cotton full skirt and slim waist jacket that is so visually pleasing with its crisp, ruffled collar and wide, flouncy peplum over the skirt.  She makes a dramatic entrance wearing her red wool cape with gathered hood framing her face.  There is some melting to the silk red ribbon around the hood.  And finally, her excellent undergarments, including the elevation of a large, padded bustle and then her high quality red and tan leather boots.  All is antique and feels like a part of her from the beginning!

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Parian in Plaid

in Fancy Footwear

Always so nice to find a doll in plaid from the mid-nineteenth century, as it so represents the time by supplying a bold but conservative detail.  The warm brown and red tones in her plaid wool dress are accented by the brown velvet bodice that serves as a vest on the garment.
This beauty has blond molded locks, parted in the center and falling around the frame of her face.  Daintily painted blue eyes, ultra light cheek shading and pale bisque on head and shoulders make her a striking portrait against the richly colored costume.  Her body is cloth jointed at the shoulders, hips and knees, she has caramel brown leather arms and her lower legs are her stockings, in a blue on white fine stripe, ending with her feet which are her red leather boots.

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China in Red Cape

We can picture this 1860's china (18 1/2") making an impression in town or on the prairie,  wearing her detailed, tan cotton dress with tiny floral print and black ribbon trim around the skirt, with an apron of black leaves printed on red that matches her vibrant red wool cape. 
  She has the flat top, 1860's hairdo with ringlet curls all around, deeply sloping shoulders, blue painted eyes and quality molding.  Her cloth body is antique, with china lower arms, and her detailed, antique undergarments complete her ensemble..  

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Covered Wagon China

18 1/2"
Pale Pink Tint

$675.  ON HOLD
With a complexion that is tinted slightly pink, this 1860 china with black, center-parted hair, molded into tight, short ringlets all around, blue painted eyes, healthy shaded cheeks and sloped shoulders has quite the appealing presentation due to her charming attire.  Her heavy cotton antique dress is scattered with tiny gold stars, and the full skirt has several rows of  tucking.  She wears a very nice antique woven bonnet with a large front brim and ribbon detail.
  Her body is of stuffed cloth, jointed at shoulders, hips and knees, and she has kid leather arms with separately stitched fingers.  The right arm has repair, and the area of the wrist and hand is quite fragile.  Undergarments are all antique.  

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All Original Milliners Model

How special to find an incredibly well preserved, original German Milliners model (13") from the early 1850's.  Her paper mache head has a beautiful original complexion with painted feathers and her molded, painted black chair is center-parted with ringlet curls all around the back.  She has the typical leather body with wooden lower arms and lower legs, with orange painted slippers, all in very nice condition.
Her original, endearing, two-piece cotton suit in a blue and white print with fringed trim has underneath it two layers of slips, one them with a tiny print of its own!  She also has a string of tiny beads around her neck, but it is not known if this was added at some point.

more Early Dolls go to page 2


Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

      Cell (818) 738-4591   n Home Phone (818) 562-7839 

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