Founded by Franz Schmidt in Georgenthal, Thuringia Germany in 1890, the doll company was supplied with bisque doll heads by Simon and Halbig Company. The latter was founded in 1839 but was then purchased by Kammer & Reinhardt in 1920. Simon and Halbig was also known to have supplied bisque doll heads to Arranbee, C.M Bergman, Carl Berger, Heinrich Handwerck, Hamburger & Company, and Adolf Huss. These are just a few of the companies that it had supplied with its fine quality doll heads. Nevertheless, Franz Schmidt also distributed doll parts, wigs, marottes, socks, and undressed dolls aside from their fully-dressed doll series.
The company also manufactured dolls made of wooden heads aside from the bisque heads that it was famous for. The trademark on these dolls was a the “S & Co.” on the bisque heads for earlier dolls but the later batches of dolls already had an “F.S. & Co.” marking. The company had two known sculptors who were the biggest contributors in the dolls’ designs and these were Albin Scheler and Traugott Schmidt.
Schmidt was known for his innovative doll designs such as:
1) Improved wooden body joints – Its patent was approved in 1899
2) Breathers (pierced nostrils design) – 1912 patent
3) Movable doll tongue – 1913 patent
4) Universal joints structure – 1914 patent
5) Eye bar - 1928 patent
6) Doll voice boxes - 1928 patent
Here are some of the Franz Schmidt dolls that were made from 1890 to 1937:
1) Dolly Face – These dolls measured 12 inches to 42 inches but the dolly face with kid body measured only as high as 26 inches tall. The dolly face series were made of shoulder head or bisque socket head. These would either have kid or jointed composition doll bodies, mohair wig, glass eyes, open mouth. The typical mold numbers or markings on these dolls were: 269, 293, 1180, 1250, 1253, 1370, S & Co. Simon & Halbig, and FS & C Simon & Halbig.
2) Character Baby – The character baby dolls usually measured from 12 inches to 2 inches tall. These dolls had bisque socket heads, bent-limb composition baby body, glass eyes, open mouth, and mostly with pierced nostrils. These were also typically marked with FS & C, 1271, 1272, 1295, 1296,1297, 1310, and there might also possibly be other markings on some dolls.
3) Character Doll – The character dolls had jointed composition bodies, bisque socket heads, painted and molded hair or some with wigs, painted or glass eyes, and closed or open mouth. The typical markings on these dolls were: 1262, 1263, 1266, 1267, 1286, and some dolls could possibly have other markings.
These high quality dolls made of bisque heads are sought after by doll collectors and its prices today could range from $300 to as much as $34,000 for other rare doll series which are still in good condition.
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