Annie Louise is my mother’s doll. I always thought that she was a china doll, but when researching dolls and doll clothes from the early 1900s, I decided that she didn’t look like a china doll. She was a bisque doll. Her face is not shiny. I couldn’t find any dolls that looked just like her. She has a jointed leather body.
Annie Louise is dirty and needs a new wig, along with new clothes. I’ve decided to clean her up and restore her. Pinterest has a site where it shows how to measure a doll and using a regular person’s pattern, cut it down for doll clothes. I have measured all of Annie Louise’s measurements. She is 19 1/2″ tall. Her bust line is the same as her waist. As I turned her over to measure her back, I noticed some letters on her neck. Now I know what she is.
The letters are AM95 4DEP The Internet is wonderful. This is what I found.
Annie Louise is an Armand Marseille doll. Located in Koppeisdorf, in the Thuringia region of Germany, the Armand Marseille doll company was the heart of the German doll making revolution in the 1890’s manufacturing 1,000 doll heads a day from 1900 to 1930. Armand Marseille was born in St Petersburg Russia and was a butcher before becoming a successful doll manufacturer.
By 1910, 800 workers were in the factory and home trade.
Almost all of Armand Marseille’s doll heads were made of bisque. He did not make his own doll bodies, but purchased them from other manufacturers. AM dolls were promotional dolls. The AM factory made doll heads in all price ranges, according to the buyer’s price range.
Montgomery Ward ordered cheaper dolls. I know that my Grandmother ordered from catalogues as she had an Aladdin home. It was purchased through the Sears catalog.
The dolls marked AM95 4DEP are not valuable according to the Internet. Most for sale are in Annie Louise’s condition. She is valuable to me because she belonged to my mother and is very pretty. I love her big blue eyes and the dimple in her chin.
My Great Grandfather was a photographer so I have photos of my ancestors in their beautiful dresses. Now that I know Annie Louise’s measurements and have instructions on how to cut from those measurements, I plan to recreate those dresses for Annie Louise. I’ll start with her undergarments. I haven’t made doll clothes for a long time. I should remember how after a few tries.
I’ve been saving fabric, laces and other items that I thought might be useful.
Soon, she will have a new wig. I think brown would be a good color for her. Maybe, I will consider blond hair because of her blue eyes. My mother told me that she had a long, real hair wig. My grandmother was very angry when my mother gave Annie Louise a short haircut.
With some bisque cleaner, her face would look much better. I’ve found a wonderful doll supply company. Now that I know what kind of a doll she is, I might be able to find more information on their site.
I already have a quilt for Annie Louise and enough fabric left over to make a matching dress or robe. This project will be a lot of fun.
I’ll post updates on her progress from time to time.
Have a great day and happy quilting.