The Austin Doll Collectors Society is an organization of antique, vintage, and modern doll collectors, dealers, and artisans. We meet on the first Monday of each month and our meetings are fun and educational. We begin with refreshments and socializing, and, following our brief business meeting, there is a special doll-related program and "show and tell." The Austin Doll Collectors Society is a nonprofit organization and is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 5, 2018, Meeting

To commemorate the approaching St. Patrick's Day, the refreshment table was decked out in green.

Member Elaine Jackson did a program on Schoenhut dolls.  The company was started by Albert Schoenhut, a German immigrant from Germany.  The company's first success was a toy piano and by 1903 Schoenhut was producing circus characters and other toys out of wood.  In 1911, the first Schoenut doll was produced.  The dolls were created out of wood and could hold any pose thanks to a  clever system of internal springs.  They had holes in their feet and wore special shoes and socks with matching openings.  The holes could be used to fit the dolls on a special stand which allowed the dolls to stand, pose on tiptoe, and even balance on one leg.  The early dolls had character faces created by an Italian artist, but the faces were criticized as looking too old and serious.  Albert's son, Harry, later redesigned the faces to represent younger children.

In order to compete with the sweet-faced German bisque dolls, Schoenhut later introduced a doll with more doll-like features, like the little brunette girl in this picture. 

Schoenhut also expanded its line to include all-wood toddler and infant dolls.  The baby has a typical bent-limb body, but the toddler is fully jointed.

Schoenhut later struggled to compete with the lighter and less expensive bisque and composition dolls.  In 1921, Harry patented sleeping wooden eyes.  However, by 1935 the company declared bankruptcy.

Other members brought Schoenhut dolls to share.  This little girl belongs to Myrna Loesch, who carefully restored her and repainted her face.  

This little girl belongs to Bette Birdsong.  She is in nearly mint condition.  Although her dress may not be original, it is from the period. 

Jenell Howell brought several examples to share.

This little girl has the very desirable carved hair.

This charming child wears her factory original "union suit."

Sue Smith brought this example of a Pinn Family doll.  Albert's youngest son, Otto, started the Otto Schoenhut Company in 1935 and one of the company's offerings was the wooden Pinn Family, created out of wooden clothespins. This is the daughter of the family, Beauty Pin.  She is missing her yarn hair.

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