German All-Bisque “French Wrestler,” ca. 1885

Value (2010) | $4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

My mother handed it down to me probably 30 years ago, and it was her great-grandmother's. And the story I've been told is it's from France and was made in 1880. My mother had played with it when she was little, and the story says that they called her "the cowgirl." It was supposedly a Western rendition of this doll from France, is all I was told, so...

If you notice, her boots are very unusual.


If you look at the overall doll, it's the peak of German doll making. You thought it was possibly French.

Oh, it was Germany.

It's called a French Wrestler, but it's actually made in Germany...


...for the French market. This doll was made between 1880 and 1910. From head to toe the quality is superb-- the contrast between the flushness on the cheeks, the whiteness of the bisque. Unfortunately, it's a little bit dirty. It's got a few chips on the side. Wonderful paperweight glass eyes. Wonderful feathered eyebrows. This is not strung, so the head comes off, and I can show the marking fairly easy. If you notice, that is marked 102, which is just a mold number for this doll, not with a maker or anything. They made it in several different sizes. This is a very unusually large size for this doll.

Is it?

Yep. And I would guess you would wonder why it was called the French Wrestler. Because of the body. It sort of looks like a wrestler, you know? (laughing) If you look at it, it's sort of robust, the legs are very big.


And that's what makes it more desirable to collectors today. The hair is all original. It's a human hair wig. It's sort of tattered, but it is the original wig. It needs restringing. If you would have a professional restring it, it should cost you anywhere between $20 and $35 to have it restrung.

That's all?

In today's market, even with the chips, because of the size and the quality, at auction this would probably bring between $4,000 and $5,000.

Awesome. Cool.

Very nice example of this doll.

Cool, cool.

Appraisal Details

Chicago, IL
Appraised value (2010)
$4,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Billings, MT (June 26, 2010)
19th Century
Bisque, Glass, Hair

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