More and more collectors of antiques and collectibles are expressing interest to buy metal head or tin head dolls and this is evident from the fact that these dolls, which once took a backseat in the world of collecting dolls, are now recognized by one and all as unique and valuable collectibles.
Most of these dolls are made of a wide array of metals, including silver, aluminum, tin, and brass.
“Minerva” is one of the most common manufacturer’s mark found on the metal head dolls. These dolls were made by various companies and widely distributed in the United States. Buschow & Beck, Alfred Heller, manufactured dolls marked “Diana”. “Juno” was the mark used by Karl Standfuss. Some metal heads are marked only with the size and the country of origin. There are many that are not marked at all.
The metal head doll was marketed as being indestructible. This was a great improvement over the breakable porcelain dolls that were so popular. They would not disintegrate when they were exposed to moisture like the popular composition doll of that time. The main drawback was the metal would more readily absorb the surrounding temperature leaving the doll too hot to handle or too cold to snuggle.
Metal head dolls can be found with bodies made of cloth, leather, or metal bodies. Of these body types the metal-bodied doll is the hardest to find.
Often metal heads, like the popular china doll heads of that time, were sold separately. For this reason it is not uncommon to find the metal head doll on a homemade cloth body. The limbs on these dolls were often made of china, cloth or composition, rarely metal.
The fact that expert minor restoration do not take away from the value of these types of dolls means that they are perfect choice for the collector on a budget.