China & Parian Head Reproduction Dolls
What are China and Parian head dolls and what is the difference? Parian dolls are made of fine white bisque (unglazed porcelain) and have a matte unglazed finish. China has a white base porcelain and is coated with a shiny glaze.
The English developed the first parian-ware in the 1840s, and exhibited parian-ware figures at the London International Exhibition in 1851. These figures proved to be very popular, inspiring the Germans to develop their own version of parian porcelain. Soon the many competing German Thuringian companies began making doll heads and limbs in the unglazed white porcelain bisque. They found that they could achieve a higher degree of detail in the modeling than had been possible with the glazed china pieces. Therefore parian dolls can be found with more elaborate hairstyles and in greater variety than the glazed china dolls.
The earliest parian type dolls seem to date from the early 1860's, and came from factories such as Alt, Beck & Gottschalck, Kling, Kister, Conta & Bohme, Simon & Halbig and a few others. The later period parians continued to be made by Simon & Halbig (such as the swivel-necked example above); Kestner made a line of doll house dolls up into the 1930s, and Hertwig made a series of elaborate bonneted parian shoulder heads in the early 1900s, as well as child-like shoulder heads and all-bisque dolls.
China Head by Evelyn Meyer
Evelyn Meyers made this reproduction Parian head doll - she is 17".
Large 20" Parian Kestner Belle made by Carl Armstrong of Something Fancy Dollmaking Inc.
This 10" china head doll was made by Rosemarie Snyder for the UFDC 60th National Convention "With Grace and Favor" in 2009
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