or: How to distinguish a replica/fake from the original doll

The general to distinguish a replica/fake is to know what the original looks like. To do this, you need to read encyclopedias, and books, look at photographs, look at real dolls, and memorize, compare and summarize information.

1. The quality of porcelain.

In inexpensive French biscuits, especially SFBJ, or low-quality porcelain more noble firms Rabery & Delphieu small dots, and pimples are often found.

Antique porcelain is rough to the touch, and sometimes quite hard, although there are exceptions. Smooth porcelain until the beginning of the 20th century was with Kestner dolls.
The replicas are all very smooth and dense, like glass.

Old porcelain, oddly enough, is warmer to the touch, but this can be understood if you could get to know a real doll.

2. The color of porcelain.

Usually, the top of the porcelain head was tinted with pink flesh-colored paint. Often its streams are visible, flowing inside the head, through the eye sockets, or fingerprints at the base of the neck.

In general, the porcelain itself is white. There are rare exceptions. For example, the characteristic Gebruder Heubach dolls had pink porcelain, but this was the case for several batches when color was added.
Early dolls (1870-1890) have heads of a very light, almost whitish tone.

The replicas are more whitish, but sometimes they are shaded into a more beige color.

The most common heads are light peach in color. Late (1900-1903) dolls, especially inexpensive brands (in particular, Armand Marseille or SFBJ), come with a dark reddish tint, which they cannot achieve in replicas.

3. Painting of the face.

Puppet factories already had in-line production, it was necessary to do a lot and quickly, so the painting was fluent. The cheaper the doll, the easier it is.

Eyebrows should be slightly shiny, at a certain angle of the lighting, and stand out from the rest of the face.

The surest thing is to see as many original dolls as possible, preferably live, so that you can touch them, then the fake will catch your eye and be felt to the touch.

4. Eyes and eyelashes.

Examine the eyes themselves and their iris. Antique eyes very often have a dark rim of the iris, the pupils are not always the same size, and the sclera is milky white.

In replicas, especially small dolls, stationery paperweight eyes (a hemisphere of blown glass with a strongly convex part on the iris, like real eyes), fixed, “no sleep eyes” are more often used.
If the eyes are sleeping, then look at the eye mechanism – is it old or not?
The eyes were mostly made of blue or brown – different shades. Green and gray eyes are extremely rare.

Eyelashes were invented late – in the early 1900s. In addition, the eyelashes are either from mohair, and he has already managed to fray, or from natural hair, some of which is also lost.

Old eyelashes are glued with a brush without gaps and never curl up.
If the letter W (wimpern) is imprinted on the forehead (top) of a German antique doll, this means that the doll must have natural eyelashes.
See how the eyes are attached to the wire. Previously, resin mixtures were used for this, usually black, so the old mechanism is black from below.
If the bottom is white or pink, then this is a later repair. It does not really affect the cost of the doll.
Previously, the inner sections of the eye sockets were smeared with liquid wax so that the eyes do not scratch the eyelids, and for fixation during the installation process. If there are leftovers, it’s good.

5. Torso.

However, there are many exceptions – different manufacturers have a different “native color”.
Look at the erased places, only two layers of coating should be visible there: varnish or paint and a whitish primer under it. More and more layers should not be.
But the ancient torso is not an indicator of the authenticity and origin of the head.

The torso must be worn to a certain extent. The new body is immediately visible. And it should correspond to the type of doll – the French type of the body is a French doll, and the German type is German.
Moreover, there are torsos of certain manufacturers. For example Jumeau, Kestner, Armand Marcel, Handwerck
Manufacturers used torsos of their own production, with certain characteristics.
Antique varnish has a shade of golden ocher. It is possible that the old body was repainted. Wooden hinges must be worn to the right extent.

6. Wig

A wig is not an indicator of authenticity at all. But it should only be made from natural materials – human hair or mohair (woolen mohair). No rubber bands around. This was not the case before. Modern wigs hair is very even and smooth.

An old human hair wig is also immediately visible, even if it has not fallen off, the hair is thin and rough to the touch, often with a slight interspersing of hairs and a tone lighter.

7. The head.

This is the most important thing in a doll. A non-native body, of course, reduces the collection value of the doll, but not fatally, as well as non-original (but still vintage) dresses or a wig.
The plaster holding the eye mechanism should be white, not pink or beige – these are already late layers. A perfectly clean head should alert, but this is also not an indicator.

If the head is dirty from the inside, and the dirt has eaten in, then it is probably really very old, and the head is at least several decades old.
Often helps the presence of chips on the lobes of pierced ears – where there are holes for earrings. Their presence gives several points to the original. Such chips practically do not affect the cost of the doll and are not considered a major defect, this is a completely normal thing.
Head molding should be appropriate for both age and type – early French biscuit heads do not have a rim, while German heads have a rim.
Late French dolls (from 1886) also have a rim that is not as wide as German dolls.
On the back of the head, there should be a marking of the manufacturer and, accordingly, the declared brand, or other signs indicating the country of origin or company.

Antique doll head
Doll head “replica”, or “by artist”

Check if there is a signature or initials of the author – often the author of the replica honestly signs. But the author of an illegal fake does not do this
An important point is if there is a size mark on the head (numbers usually placed on the neck or at its very bottom), then you should check its compliance with the actual size of the doll. Each manufacturer has its own range of sizes, sometimes even changing over time, so this needs to be studied.

Studying photos in catalogs and albums helps a lot. And even better – personally from a collector friend, after you look at more than a dozen original antique dolls, the replicas will catch your eye.
This is important, because often in poor-quality descriptions of dolls the words “replica”, and “by artist” is mentioned somewhere from the edge, casually, or even completely silent. The puppeteer’s signature may not always be present either, because all over the world it is customary to either sign the work or attach a certificate.

Source: https://babiki.ru/blog/interesnoe-antikvarki/75608.html

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