Heubach Bisque Dolls

This year on Christmas morning thousands and thousands of children will wake to the joy of a baby doll, brought down the chimney or through the door with a special key, by an over worked and underpaid Santa Claus. For generations parents have loved buying these wonderful creations and for generations Santa has worked his magic.

The Edwardian Christmas would see many of these dolls being manufactured by the Heubach factory which was established in Lichte, Germany in 1843, after brothers Georg Christoph and Phillipp Jakob,bought an existing porcelain business. They initially made porcelain dolls’ heads and other figurines, but later as the fashion for using bisque spread to Germany from France where they had been experimenting with it from the late 1860s, Heubach began to use bisque as their main material from about 1910.

While the porcelain dolls were glazed and therefore shiny, the bisque allowed for a much more realistic skin tone as they remained unglazed; initially fired and then re-fired after layers of decoration had been applied. It was very uncommon to find a doll made completely of bisque as it was so delicate and breakable, most dolls had bodies made of cloth or leather and later composition, a substance made by mixing glue with sawdust or wood pulp.

As with all bisque dolls of the period, some had closed mouths and fixed eyes and some more expensive models had sleeping eyes and open mouths with teeth. Oddly, a doll found now with broken teeth is often not a sign of neglect, but a sign of care, as the loving ‘child parent’ has tried desperately to feed their infant.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items you’re thinking about offering items in auction or you simply would like a valuation, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Heubach bisque dolls

The Heubach factory was established in Lichte, Germany in 1843 after brothers, Georg Christoph and Phillipp Jakob, bought an existing porcelain business. They initially made porcelain dolls’ heads and other figurines but later as the fashion for using bisque travelled to Germany from France where they had been experimenting with it from the late 1860s, Heubach began to use bisque as their main material from about 1910.

Bisque Dolls
Bisque Dolls

While the porcelain dolls were glazed and therefore shiny, the bisque allowed for a much more realistic skin tone as they remained unglazed; initially fired and then re-fired after layers of decoration had been applied. It was very uncommon to find a doll made completely of bisque as it was so delicate and breakable, most
dolls had bodies made of cloth or leather and later composition, a substance made by mixing glue with sawdust or wood pulp.
Heubach made figurines completely in bisque, most famously their piano babies.

The piano babies were, as the name suggests, figurines of babies which many households sat upon their piano; perhaps just as decoration or more often than not
to hold in place the fabric that often adorned grand pianos as was fashionable at the time.

The babies were often nude but were also made with carefully painted clothes and bonnets. They ranged from about four to twelve inches in length and the babies posed in a variety of positions. They are difficult to find in mint condition due to the fragile nature of bisque. Other companies also made these ‘Piano’ babies but Heubach’s are all marked. Heubach marks include the word ‘Heubach’ enclosed in a square and more commonly on the ‘Piano’ babies, a sunburst.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website