Sipple Stories

Pictures & stories of my Grandparents Joy & Adda Rockwell Sipple, their family and their ancestors.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jocelyn's Doll

My Uncle Chick has been cleaning, downsizing, getting rid of things he doesn't use or need. I guess when you are 95 and have lived in the same house for over 60 years that is what you do. We all should do that from time to time. This last week when I stopped to visit Chick showed me a doll he had found. She was not a doll Jocelyn had as a child. Chick remembers her buying it when they were first married... "for whatever reason" he cannot fathom.

Chick didn't know what to do with it... didn't think anyone would want it, was thinking of throwing it away. MEN!!! Things that I call treasures... they call junk. I cringe to think what things Chick might be throwing away... things that someone might love to have or things that might be worth lots of money. Do you ever watch "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS?? If you do, then you know what I mean.

I took several pictures of Jocelyn's doll and have been trying to identify it on-line to see what it's worth. At the least it has sentimental value... to think of having something, anything at all, that belonged to your Grandmother or Great-Grandmother... what a treasure that would be.

So far... I think the doll may be a Heinrich Handwerck / Simon & Halbig antique doll... but it may be a JD Kestner. All three companies made dolls in Germany in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I, personally, don't think the Kestner dolls have quite as pretty or sweet of a face as those made by the other two or as Jocelyn's doll. Their eyebrows are scary, almost a unibrow and their mouths not as nice either. One lady has written to say she thinks it is a Kestner and not the other makers... I'm leaning towards agreeing with her but still haven't found a value.

Chick has named her Nellie... This is what I know about her so far.

Nellie has an open mouth with 4 rounded teeth showing... they are not square.
I believe her eyes are fixed... they did not move to the sleeping position when she was laid down... They could have just been stuck but I don't think so.
Her head is a socket head (meaning it is separate from the shoulders, not all molded into one piece... and so it turns & tilts)
She has blond hair... which I believe is mohair.
Her ears are not pierced.

On the back of Nellie's neck, under her hair was the mold number... #160
Above that number is "Dep" and the number "7 1/2" (seven and a half)
I didn't lift her hair further up, un-sticking it from her head as it is glued very firmly on and I didn't want to tear it or ruin her.

I read in one article that mold #160 was a rare mold number... but the article didn't say what the manufactures name was... although it seems Kerstner is the only one with similar numbers... the others have numbers in the thousands, not hundreds.

I looked on her back for a manufactures name... and there is nothing...
On her butt stamped in red is "Germany" and "7 1/2"

Nellie is 17" or 18" tall... I actually measure her as 17 1/2"...
She is a fully jointed doll... head, arms, legs, wrists, elbows, knees...

She has all of her original clothes: a turquoise organdy dress with flock polka dots over a turquoise taffeta lining with a matching turquoise taffeta full body undergarment and turquoise taffeta hat with gold ribbons that match the ties on her off-white shoes. The buttons on her clothes are missing; the clothes are held together with small gold safety pins.

As you can see in the pictures, Nellie needs her face washed and her clothes are a little wrinkled from years of living in a box... her back & legs are also dirty and have scratches... she has been played with.

Hopefully someone can help me identify our Nellie. Then my next job will be to find her a home. She is the sweetest little doll and after living in a box in the basement for 70 or 80 years, she deserves to be lovingly placed on display in someones hutch or in a shadow box in some little girls bedroom.

Hopefully someone will want to give Nellie a home.

Chick's grandson Adam has adopted Nellie. She went to live with Adam's daughter Ireland around Christmas. I'm sure Ireland will cherish Nellie when she gets older.
Thanks Adam!!!



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