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
of which was doll maker Joseph Schön (1886-1887).
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,
was used by the German doll maker Buschow & Beck from 1888-1930s,
their USA partner was Alfred Vischer withGeorge Borgfeldt,Louis Wolf & Co. as distributors and
metal head dolls are found in old Sears catalogs under the Sears
brand name of WearWell Dolls, also on dolls made of celluloid.
Karl Standfuss 1898-1930s used the trade name JUNO. Alfred Heller
1901-1910used trade name DIANA. Both are German
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.
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 name are A.D.T. Co and 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 orthe
initial G inside a six pointedstar symbol U.S. Pat.
Armor Metal Toy StampingCompany, 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 marked Horsman
doll on a composition jointed body, but we have been unable to find any
reference documentation, other than the boy doll shown at the top of this page
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.
Antique Metal Head Dolls Identified
Items shown below are for reference
1901-1910 Diana metal head doll, 16" tall,
shoulder head on cloth body by Alfred Heller.
Buschow & Beck, Minerva metal head doll, 21" tall with a cloth
ca. 1920s Horsman metal head boy doll,
composition jointed body and limbs. Doll marked Horsman, a mystery
boy. Photo courtesy of Ronsfancy
1900s-1930s Minerva metal
shoulder head doll, 22" tall on a kid body, by Buschow &