Some of the most beautiful antique dolls were made by Heinrich and Minna Handwerck in Gotha, Germany in 1876. The most distinguishable feature of their models is that they have a pair of big almond shaped eyes. In the 1902, the company was acquired by Kammer and Reinhardt after the death of Heinrich. The Kammer and Reinhardt company continued to manufacture the dolls until 1932 wherein most of the dolls bear their mark “oHG.”
Their mold “109” had French-type appearance and was also made of bisque head and ball-jointed composition body. The doll heads were designed by Handwerck and manufactured by Simon and Halbig. The handcrafted dolls were of great quality and the company is best known for its baby dolls, child dolls, and its Bebe dolly-faced bisque heads. Nevertheless, the company also produced celluloid doll over the years.
Some of the molds bear other numbers on the head indicating its design which may also have been manufactured by other doll companies and these were molds W, 69, 79, 89, 99, 119, 139, 189. Some other molds bear names and letter symbols such as their Bebe de Recalme, Baby Cut, Bebe Cosmopolite, Bebe Superior, H, HH, HcH H, HHW, HW, La Bonita, Lotti, and HANDWERCK LaBElle.
The line may not really have names to identify them just like other manufacturers’ series. However, these markings on the doll’s head and also on their bodies can determine the approximate year it was manufactured. Yet it should also be noted that even if the doll’s body may not have these markings or the same composition as the head, it does not necessarily mean that the doll is fake. Remember that some doll manufacturers commission some parts of their dolls to other manufacturers. Thus, the markings could be different or they may not have any markings at all.
There was also doll named Daisy which was manufactured for the Ladies Home Journal in 1911. A total of 26,000 daisy dolls were made and 5,000 of which were manufactured by JD Kestner. Nonetheless, Simon and Halbig also created some of the orders which were marked Heinrich Handwerck Germany 1. This is just one example how one doll model can be made by several doll makers.
Today, a Heinrich Handwerck doll can even fetch as much as $1,000 just like one of their 31-inch doll displayed on auction sale over the internet. A good condition doll can really fetch this much as some may have been around for a hundred years. Anyone who may consider collecting Heinrich Handwerck’s dolls should be able to find one from auction sales or in doll conventions.