ca. 1920s Horsman metal head boy doll,
composition jointed body and limbs.
Doll marked Horsman, a mystery
Photo courtesy of Ronsfancy
has the first patent recorded by René Poulin in 1861 for making dolls heads and
limbs of metal. In 1876 Lucien Vervelle, also of France, secured a patent for
dolls heads made of metal, too. 1898 Sommereisen obtained a French
patent making hollow aluminum doll heads.
Beginning in 1886 the majority of metal head dolls were made in Germany
many by doll maker's Max Dittrich & Joseph Schön (1886-1890) & Robert
The German metal heads were made from
stamped sheet metal, that were welded together and then painted.
The heads seem to have been made primarily as a replacement head for bisque or China doll
heads that were easily broken,
The trade name Minerva over a helmet symbol (shown below),
was used by the German doll maker Buschow & Beck from 1888 to the 1930s,
their American partner was Alfred Vischer (with the Minerva doll mark) with
George Borgfeldt and
Louis Wolf as distributors,
metal head dolls are found in old
Sears catalogs under the Sears
brand name of WearWell Dolls, also on dolls made of
to the 1930s
used the trade name and doll mark JUNO.
1901 to 1910 Alfred Heller used the doll mark and trade name
of DIANA. Both are
doll makers of metallpuppenköpfe - metal doll head.
Aluminum Doll Head
Works 1919-1920 USA, made aluminum doll heads and hands on
composition ball jointed or cloth stuffed bodies, doll mark unknown or unmarked.
Atlas Doll &
Toy Company 1917-1930 USA, made all metal dolls, also dolls with metal
heads, sleep eyes, wigged and metal arms on cork stuffed bodies, Atlas doll mark
or trade names are A.D.T. Co and in 1919 Hug Me Kid with sleep or
stationary eyes, molded hair or wigged. Atlas also made a Dolly Jump
Giebeler Falk Doll
Corporation 1918-1921 of the USA, used the trade name Gie-Fa, they made an aluminum head with a wooden body phonograph
doll named Primadonna, who has a clockwork mechanical mechanism in the
dolls torso, a crank handle in the neck works the turntable located in the top
of the head, dolls with a metal head, hands and feet with wooden or composition bodies and entire dolls made of all aluminum. Doll marks Gie Fa Trademark
New York, NY., Aluminum Heads ~ Hands Guaranteed Unbreakable or the
initial G inside a six pointed star symbol U.S. Pat.
Armor Metal Toy Stamping Company, 1922 of Bayonne, NJ USA,
made metal Armor heads on composition jointed or cloth stuffed jointed sanitary
bodies and walking dolls, doll sizes 14-22" tall, doll marking unknown.
Horsman made a metal head doll marked Horsman
shown above on a composition jointed body, but we have been unable to find any
reference documentation as to his name.
Metal Doll Company 1902-1903 USA, made entire dolls of thin steel
sheet metal, fully jointed steel body, some have jointed
wrists and ankles, strung with steel springs in 12 and 18" tall, called
All Steel Doll, distributed by Borgfeldt.