Alt Beck Gottschalck
No. 639, 10

Winner of the 1984 Bebes Louisiane ribbon: Regional UFDC Convention

Alt, Beck & Gottschalck No. 639

Doll description

  • A 20" tall, bisque, dome, shoulder-head doll
  • Turned shoulder head, wig, glass eyes, closed mouth
  • Kid body - elegant face

Professional appraisal, Aug. 19, 2008: Jan Foulke

This 20-inch doll has a bisque head made by the large and prestigious Alt, Beck & Gottschalck porcelain factory in Ilmenau, Germany, Ca., 1885. She has the desirable features of a slightly turned shoulder head tipped downward, a solid dome head, beautiful facial decoration, and a closed mouth.

She is on an excellent kid body with a few patches at her knee gussets. The body also has quite a few desirable features: rivet joints at the hips, and kid over wood upper arms, rivet-jointed elbows, perfect bisque lower arms, and all-kid legs. This is likely a Wagner &  Zetzsche body. W & Z bodies usually had a blue paper label under the head on top of the shoulder.

W & Z bought heads from ABG and put them on their own bodies. As for her lovely clothing, I feel that it was made, perhaps in the 1940-1960 period of vintage fabrics. It is beautiful, but these dolls were designed as children and babies, and usually acquired adult clothing years later when they entered doll collections. Without any information on the ribbon, we can’t know why it was awarded. In fact, it might not even have been awarded to this doll. Sometimes the ribbons do get moved around, especially after 25 years. Since it was given at a Regional rather than a National convention, and the Regionals are very small compared to the Nationals, I am assuming that it was awarded as being a very lovely and desirable example of an antique doll with a turned shoulder head. [Jan Foulke]

Value on today’s market with her beautiful gown of vintage fabric: $650-700