Most doll collectors may be on the lookout for bisque and porcelain for their antique collection. The common materials used even in vintage dolls aside from the two were composition, fabric, ceramics, plastic, and vinyl. However, German manufacturers had been producing metal head dolls in the early 1900’s and these were mostly made in Nossen Saxony. The doll heads were manufactured through a metal sheet that had been stamped and then molded. The sections are welded together and the final figure was then painted.
Doll manufacturers may have started using metal for the doll heads due to the fragile nature of bisque and porcelain. The dolls may still have a different body material but the replacement metal doll heads were not easily broken at all. Some may have metal heads but with jointed composition bodies and legs. Other manufacturers of metal head dolls were 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 trademark of Gie-fa.
German doll makers generally used the trademark Minerva which can be distinguished by a helmet symbol over its name. In the United States, George Borgfeldt & Louis Wolf distributed these metal head dolls marked Minerva which were also found in catalogues of Sears. There were also other doll makers who used these German metal doll heads such as Horsman. Yet the only thing that separates the Giebeler-Falk doll company was that their doll heads were made in the United States instead of having it manufactured in somewhere else. Their dolls may have aluminum heads yet these were on wooden or composition bodies. Nevertheless, their dolls were of good quality and were not easily broken.
A famous aluminum doll of Giebeler-Falk was called the “Primadonna” and it had a turntable on its head which can play 3.5-inch records. The mechanism on its body can be wound at the back and typically these dolls measured 25 or 30 inches tall. Today, these antiques can be collected by fans and enthusiasts of mechanical or automated toys. These vintage antiques with phonographs and metal heads are hot commodities for antique collectors due to its technology and material. For sure, these dolls are hard to find in their good condition but anyone who can own one will have a wonderful piece of technology and history in her collection.