history of Kestner J. D.

Item number: Kestner J. D. (4340)

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Category: Kestner J. D.




Description

Company history and description of the company JDK Kestner aus Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany

In 1787 Johann Daniel Kestner was born .
In 1805 he had a company that offered the troops of Napoleon skins , fats and other products.
In 1816 he started a factory in which he produced black writing boards , among others .
In 1820 he began to manufacture dolls, initially with wooden limbs and papeer-maché heads and animal figures.
In 1822 he receives from the government a monopole for the production of papier-mâché.
In 1845 he bought his parents' house , the inn "Zum Mohren " and there he produced doll furniture.
In 1846 he employs 1,264 people of which were 423 children under the age 14.
1858 Kestner dies at the age of 70 years and his grandson Adolf should have taken the lead .
Approx. 1860 they bought the porcelain manufactory Ohrdug and started with the production of the today well known porcelain dolls.
In 1941 the company was closed.
Kestner leather kid bodies may have a green label Celebrated, Excellence, Excelsior, Marvel, Par Excellence or Perfection along with the Kestner crown and streamer label.
Unique to Kestner is the doll heads plaster like pates.
Kestner leather kid bodies may have a green label Celebrated, Excellence, Excelsior, Marvel, Par Excellence or Perfection along with the Kestner crown and streamer label.
Unique to Kestner is the doll heads plaster like pates.
Kestner supplied most of the bisque heads used by Catterfelder Puppenfabrik (Carl Trautmann) doll molds 263, 264, also some bisque heads for Roullet et Decamps walking dolls; Bébé Systême and L'Intrépide Bébé. Rheinische Gummi und Celluloid Fabrik supplied Kestner with celluloid heads (doll mold 201) and other doll parts.
Kestner dolls were distributed by Borgfeldt, Butler Brothers, Century Doll Company, Horsman, Macy, Sears, Siegel Cooper, FAO Schwartz and possibly others. Some trade names for JDK Kestner dolls are: Baby Jean doll, Dainty Dorothy doll, Sally doll, Sammy doll (JDK + size number), ** Daisy doll mold 171 only the 18" tall size, Hilda doll molds 237, 245, 1070, Max, Moritz dolls, the all bisque Prize Baby doll mold 208, Siegfried doll mold 272.

Doll marks

Kestner used many different doll markings; a letter only, a size number only, Kestner, initials of J.D.K., K & Co., Made in Germany, a mold number, symbol of a crown with JDK or JD Kestner on the crown rim or on ribbons trailing beneath, Excelsior (trade name for USA distributed dolls) or any combination.

Kestner Doll Mark - Bisque Socket Head Size Circumference in Inches a Made in Germany 4 = 7 b Made in Germany 3 = 6"
A Made in Germany 5 = 8" B Made in Germany 6 = 8 1/2 " C Made in Germany 7 9" D Made in Germany 8 = 9 1/2"
E Made in Germany 9 = 10" F Made in Germany 10 = 10 1/2 " G Made in Germany 11 = 1" H Made in Germany 12 = 11 1/2"
I Made in Germany 13 = 12" K Made in Germany 14 = 12 1/2 " L Made in Germany 15 = 13 M Made in Germany 16 = 13 1/2"
N Made in Germany 17 = 15" O Made in Germany 18 = 16" P Made in Germany 19 = 17" P Made in Germany 20 = 28"
There are also marks; D 1/2 Made in Germany 8 1/2 = 9 3/4", adding a 1/4" should be the approximate head size circumference.

Mold numbers
In 1892 Kestner began using mold numbers. The prior dolls were marked with the size number or a letter only

X; XII; XIII; 11; 12; 72; 103; 111; 112; 120-152; 154-156; 159-174; 177-187; 189-190; 192; 195; 196; 199-201; 203; 206; 208; 210; 211; 212; 214-246; 218-221; 226; 234-247; 249; 250; 254; 255; 57; 260; 262-264; 267; 277; 281; 282; 92; 408; 409; 1045; 1070; 7043; 70685; 70686; 172 is Gibson girl, 195 has fur eyebrows patented in 1910, 221 is an Googly Eye doll

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