Käthe Kruse Doll One, ca. 1915

Value (2011) | $4,500 Retail$5,000 Retail

His name is Charlie, and my great-grandmother bought him after... I think my grandfather was born in 1892. She had only boys, she bought a boy doll. But boys being boys, it was never played with.

Did she ever travel to Germany at all in her lifetime?

I know that her sister did spend a time, when her husband was a physician, in Germany, yes.

The doll that you brought today is actually from Germany, although it may have been purchased in the United States, but it was more likely, at that time, purchased in Germany. It's made by Kathy Kruse, or Kathe Kruse, who was a woman who started manufacturing dolls in about 1910. She was a Bohemian actress who had this talent for creating dolls and loved the softness of oil paint and fabric. And so all of her dolls were molded and sculpted and then oil painted. The bodies were stuffed with reindeer hair. The doll that you brought is remarkable because of the condition. If you look at the face, all of its original paint is there. There's no wear. The painting on the hair is exactly like it was when it came out of the factory. She made this particular doll, which is referred to as Kathe Kruse Doll One, and she made that from about 1910 to about 1929. During that time and after, other dolls were created, different size dolls. The company is still in business today, and they're still producing dolls, and they do do a line of high-end dolls that are still stuffed with reindeer hair and hand-painted. Both male dolls and female dolls were exactly the same. They were just dressed in different clothing. They'd both be valued the same. They get much more expensive if you get into World War I uniforms or really intricate clothing. It has all of its original clothing. I feel that the shoes... the actual shoes are probably missing, which could have been wooden clogs, or they could have been a hemp or a woven shoe or a felt shoe. The only issue with condition would be the moth condition on the hat. Often, the dolls were enhanced with hand embroidery, which this doll has feather stitching all around the hat, all around the bottom. This particular doll is a very popular doll today with collectors, and on the retail market this doll would sell between $4,500 and $5,000.

(laughing) I thought it was a three-figure doll. (laughing) Oh, my goodness!

Appraisal Details

Antique and Collectible Dolls
Folsom, CA
Appraised value (2011)
$4,500 Retail$5,000 Retail
Minneapolis, MN (July 09, 2011)
Cloth , Oil

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