Monday, September 30, 2013

275. Heavy Metal: MINERVA METAL HEAD BOY DOLL


 One of the most unique material in doll making is tin--a practice that started in the late 19th century, and peaked in the 1920s. Doll heads of metal were considered "indestructible", more durable than porcelain, parian and bisque. Unlike composition, they also did not absorb moisture. One such example I picked up from ebay is this great-looking metal head boy doll in a smart Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. The back of the head is marked "Minerva", a common manufacturer's mark found on such dolls. In reality, these dolls were made by different companies and distributed all over the United States.

 This 21 inch doll features a cloth body and composition hands and feet. Other than a few paint losses on the head, it is in good condition. The Fauntleroy costume in brown velvet looks like a later replacement, but it is still a vintage piece. The only drawbacks noted with metal head dolls was the fact that they are affected by temperature changes, absorbing heat and cold. As such, they were not as "cuddable" and "huggable" as other dolls. They don't command much, as they are not popular (I still have to see an example in the Philippines)--which is fine for a collector with a shoestring budget like me!

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