Dolls of Adolf Weslicenus
Wooden ball-shaped hinges for doll production were invented in France.
Large German trading houses, which had their own branches in Paris, followed the appearance of new dolls. They bought and studied interesting specimens, especially in terms of production costs. Quite often, after a few weeks, a similar doll went on sale, at a much lower cost than the original.
Adolf Wieslizenus, a manufacturer from Waltershausen (Germany), in 1878 was lucky to bring from Paris a model of a doll with movable joints of the industrialist Jumeau. Adolf was the first to start producing doll bodies with ball-shaped joints. according to this model.
But the manufacturer did not stop at copying the French original. Later, in production, the bodies of the dolls changed many times, acquiring their characteristic proportions.
At the end of the 19th century, Thuringia became the stronghold of the German doll industry.
For this, in the forest-rich federal state in eastern Germany, there were all the prerequisites: deposits of koaline clay used in the production of biscuit porcelain for doll heads, wood as fuel for ceramic furnaces and material for making doll bodies, a well-developed network of railways and high population density.
Thuringian masters from the beginning of the 19th century famous for the production of porcelain and decorative figures, had a wealth of experience in this field.
By 1900, there were over 100 porcelain doll factories here.
In 1878, Adolf Wieslizenus, a young industrialist from Thuringia, became the sole owner of the Waltershausen factory, which Gottlob Schafft founded in 1851.
The factory produced and exported papier-mâché dolls all over the world. Until 1931, the company did not change its owner for many years.
The factory, with a new name - Adolf Wislizenus began to produce non-glazed doll heads, very good quality dolls with unique bodies, animal figures, dolls with a mechanism that allows walking (the dream of all girls is the famous Gretchen doll), mechanical toys.
Fancy German Articulated dolls
Along with the typical articulated bodies, Adolf Wieslicenus has launched very unusual designs into the production of bodies. The development of all kinds of new products did not stop.
In 1894, the manufacturer invents a puppet body, with a unique design for the lower limbs. Dolls with such a body could sit and stand well. The upper part of the composite leg has a rather deep transverse fold.
The Wizlicenus factory does not stop experiments to further improve the articulated bodies. And already in 1896, Adolf patented another design.
Unusual lower part of the doll body, due to the lack of wooden balls with slots, looked very harmonious. Such a doll held poses well, stood confidently.
The production of doll bodies of various models is limited to a short period of time, 2-3 years. Collectors from all over the world are still hunting for very rare specimens.
Adolf Wieslicenus undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the history of the development of articulated dolls, giving us the opportunity to admire the unfading beauty and charm of ancient porcelain beauties, to study and be inspired by their charm.
“Cieslik's Lexikon der deutschen Puppenindustrie“, Marianne Cieslik Verlag, 1984.
Gildebrief magazine: Heft2 / 1996, Heft2 / 1997, Heft3 / 1998, Heft1 / 2001.
Marco Tosa: “Puppen. Das verspielte Abbild vom Menschen ”, Battenberg Verlag, Augsburg 1994.
Photos are taken from open sources on the Internet.
With love and respect, Tatiana Kalinina