Most doll collectors may be looking for bisque and porcelain for their antique collection. Common materials used even in vintage dolls, apart from the two, were composition, cloth, ceramic, plastic, and vinyl. However, German manufacturers had been producing metal-headed dolls in the early 1900s and these were mostly made in Nossen, Saxony. The dolls’ heads were made from a sheet of metal that had been stamped and then molded. Sections are welded together and then the final figure is painted.

doll makers may have started using metal for doll heads due to the brittle nature of bisque and porcelain. The dolls may still have a different body material, but the replacement metal doll heads did not break easily. Some may have metal heads but with jointed composition bodies and legs. Other makers of metal-headed dolls included Buschow & Beck (1890 to 1930), A. Viscer & Co., Juno by Karl Standfuss (1898 to 1930), and Alfred Heller. However, the metal head doll made by Giebeler-Falk was an aluminum metal head phonograph doll. The company manufactured dolls in the United States from 1918 to 1921 under the Gie-fa trademark.

German doll makers generally used the trademark Minerva, which can be distinguished by the helmet symbol above her name. In the United States, George Borgfeldt and Louis Wolf distributed these metal-headed dolls marked Minerva that were also found in Sears catalogs. There were also other doll makers who used these German metal doll heads, such as Horsman. The only thing that separates the Giebeler-Falk doll company, however, is that their doll heads were made in the United States instead of being manufactured elsewhere. His dolls may have aluminum heads, but these had wooden or composition bodies. However, his dolls were of good quality and did not break easily.

A famous Giebeler-Falk aluminum doll was named “Primadonna” and had a record player on her head that could play 3.5-inch records. Their body mechanism can be rolled up at the back and these dolls are typically 25 or 30 inches tall. Today, these antiques can be collected by hobbyists and enthusiasts of mechanical or automated toys. These vintage antique phonographs and metal heads are top items for antique collectors due to their technology and material. Sure, these dolls are hard to find in good condition, but anyone who can own one will have a wonderful piece of technology and history in their collection.

minifee doll by [Dollshy]