Dolls in the Looking Glass: The Joy E. Orozco Collection
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Further Waltershausen information
Waltershausen--Kämmer & Reinhardt In 1885 Kämmer and Reinhardt was founded in Waltershausen, Germany, by modeler Ernst Kämmer and businessman Franz Reinhardt. The firm was innovative and successful, winning prizes for their dolls at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Kämmer died in 1901; however, Reinhardt continued and enlarged the business, soon acquiring the Heinrich Handwerck doll factory. Kämmer and Reinhardt's association with the sculptor Arthur Lewin-Funcke energized the doll reform movement and created wonderfully expressive character dolls. In an effort to offer the public a more traditional dolly face, Kämmer and Reinhardt also produced the Mein Leibling doll. Although Reinhardt died in 1933, the firm continues today after serving many years as a state-owned doll manufacturer in East Germany.

Waltershausen--J. D. Kestner

Kestner, like Jumeau, was a quality dollmaker with a pioneering start in the early 1800s and facilities that allowed them to make the entire doll by the 1860s. Johannes Daniel Kestner, Jr., brought the craft of papier-mâché fabrication to his home in Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany, after a visit to France about 1805. By 1845 he had founded a successful doll business using primarily papier-mâché heads on wooden peg-jointed bodies. Kestner, an early proponent of porcelain heads, added these to his line in the 1850s. After his death in 1858, the business was run by his widow and deputy directors until his grandson Adolf Kestner took over in 1863.

In 1860 Kestner & Co. purchased a porcelain factory in Ohrdorf for the manufacture of porcelain doll heads. Kestner matched their shoulder heads with cloth or leather stuffed bodies; however, Kestner also sold heads and bodies to many German doll assemblers. Kestner made a more expensive leather body with rivet joints that allowed the limbs to move more easily than gusseted joints. The body parts were made separately and jointed with a wire through the body and anchored on the outside with a rivet or button. As the Kestner company grew in size and diversity, they made many styles of heads, including dolly faces and long faces similar to Jumeau, square chubby faces similar to Bru, character faces, and faces with open mouths and teeth.

By 1900 the porcelain factory employed 300 people. Additional workers were employed to make bodies, assemble the dolls, fashion wigs, and dress the dolls. Kestner was probably the only German dollmaker that could make the entire doll. Besides leather bodies, Kestner made composition and all-bisque bodies. Kestner made many dolls for the American market such as the Kewpie doll and Bye-Lo Baby. After Adolf Kestner died in 1918, the company continued to make dolls until 1938.

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