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Antique Metal Head Doll Menu 1861-1930s

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ca. 1920s Horsman metal head boy doll, composition jointed body and limbs.  Doll marked Horsman, a mystery boy doll.

Photo courtesy of Ronsfancy

France 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) and Robert Hiller (1887-1890).


The German metal doll 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.


Antique Metal Head Dolls & Makers Identified


1900s-1930s Buschow & Beck, 21" tall, Minerva metal head doll, with a cloth body.

Buschow & Beck Minerva metal head doll, 21" tall, molded painted blonde hair, painted blue eyes, closed mouth on a cloth body, doll marked Minerva with helmet symbol.


1888 to the 1930s Buschow & Beck, were German doll makers of metal head dolls and used the trade name and doll mark Minerva over a helmet symbol, this mark can also be found on their dolls made of celluloid.  Buschow & Beck were the most prolific of the German metal head doll makers.



Their American partner was Alfred Vischer (also marked Minerva) with George Borgfeldt and Louis Wolf as distributors.  Buschow & Beck metal head dolls are used on the Sears brand name of Wearwell dolls, Knock Out dolls and Violet dolls. 

Buschow & Beck doll mark Minerva with a helmet symbol


Buschow & Beck doll mark Minerva with a helmet symbol


1898-1930s Karl Standfuss, 20" tall metal shoulder head doll, marked crown symbol Juno

Karl Standfuss Juno metal head doll, 20" tall, marked crown symbol Juno.


1898 to the 1930s Karl Standfuss, German doll maker of metal head dolls, used the trade name and doll mark JUNO.


Karl Standfuss doll mark crown symbol Juno

Karl Standfuss doll mark crown symbol Juno


1901-1910 Alfred Heller, 16" tall, Diana metal head doll, shoulder head on cloth body, doll marked Diana D.R.G.M 160638

Alfred Heller Diana metal head doll, 16" tall,  with molded painted blonde hair, multi stroke eyebrows, glass eyes, painted upper & lower eye lashes, open mouth, shoulder head on cloth body, doll marked Diana D.R.G.M 160638.t.

1901 to 1910 Alfred Heller, German doll maker of metal head dolls, used the trade name and doll mark DIANA. 


Alfred Heller metal head doll mark Diana D.R.G.M 160638

Alfred Heller metal head doll mark Diana D.R.G.M 160638



The German word of metallpuppenköpfe

- means metal doll head maker.  Metal Doll Company doll mark Patent Pending Made By Metal Doll Co. Pleasant, N.J.


1902-1904 Metal Doll Company of Pleasantville, NJ, 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, mark shown left, Patent Pending Made by Metal Doll Co. Pleasantville, N.J.


1919-1920 Aluminum Doll Head Works USA, made aluminum doll heads and hands on composition ball jointed or cloth stuffed bodies, doll mark unknown or unmarked.  


1917-1930 Atlas Doll & Toy Company USA, made all metal dolls, also dolls with metal shoulder 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, also a 1928 Dolly Jump Rope doll who came in a metal push cart.


1918-1921 Giebeler Falk Doll Corporation 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.


ca. 1920s Horsman made a metal head doll marked Horsman as shown above on a composition jointed body, but we have been unable to find any reference documentation as to his name.


1921-1935 Bucherer Doll Company - their dolls have a composition head on an all metal jointed body.  Dolls are well marked on the toroso of the body Made in Switzerland.



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