Kestner Dolls, Quality and Distinction...

Kestner Dolls, None Can Compare to the Quality and Distinction...

Okay Folks, I may have listings up on eBay, I list dolls, doll clothes and doll furniture, and some other stuff, check out eBay!!

Near the bottom of this page - there is a form you can fill out to share your doll interests with others, along with pictures.

Kestner Dolls...Fine Composition and Bisque!

Although the name of J.D. (Johannes Daniel) Kestner has been associated with dolls since 1805, this particular reference is made to the beautiful babies circa 1910-1925. Exquisite bisque heads with composition bent leg bodies, none can compare to the quality and distinction given the delicate features of each character baby.

What better book is there to research Kestner Dolls than:

click here for the Kestner, King of Dollmakers by Jan Foulke book 

Considering they were manufactured for children, it is indeed sad to compare the mass-produced types of vinyl for children today to the artistry of Kestner.

There were several mold numbers associated with these beautiful dolls and even though collectors seem to favor "Hilda" (#'s 237, 245, and 1070), my personal favorite is the #211. The features and expression forever fashioned in fine bisque are that of one happy baby! For some reason, I always felt they had "cut" one eye on Hilda incorrectly, the #211 mold to me is perfection. Solid dome or with a wig, each individual #211 has a distinct personality. 


Detail is one of Kestner's characteristics. Even the feature given to the outline of fingers and nails is mostly attributed to Kestner.

eBay has a rather large set of listings of vintage Composition and Bisque dolls for sale if you are interested in a purchase, or to find values, click here (if looking for costs, it is necessary to register with eBay).

My favorite Kestner Doll babies...ranging in size from 14" to a healthy 24"... but I love all of them.

Words and phrases do not describe what only the eye can behold…

One of the most common and more frequently found Kestner mold numbers is 154. A shoulder-head with sleep eyes and open mouth...........the number 154 mold has the distinct thick Kestner brows. The bisque hands on the kid leather bodies are well formed and well detailed. Many doll bodies still bear the Kestner shield label on the chest. 

This Kestner 154 resided in a Montana garage for many years.......and only recently was discovered. She is still wearing her original white chemise. Over the chemise is an old advertising shirt for a local hardware store which has long since ceased to exist. Her eyes are a brilliant blue accented by the old silk ribbons which were probably added by a young mother many years ago.

For further information and pictures of Vintage Kestner Dolls with some mold numbers, please click here

Other readily accessible books regarding Kestner Dolls...Kestner is a favorite! You will find information and photos in many current publications.

Blue Book of Dolls and Values, 15th Edition by Jan Foulke 

Blue Book of Dolls and Values, 16th Edition by Jan Foulke

Probably the best place to look for a present "doll and accessories" value is on the Internet, primarily the auction sites--my favorite is eBay... in the completed Kestner Dolls section of eBay you can browse the past 30 days of completed auctions of Kestner dolls and accessories. On the left side, in the box named "Display," you can select "Active Items" to see the "Kestner dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.

Also, if you have a doll or doll accessories you would like to find out about...eBay is the place to start. Look in the Dolls and Bears Category, just type in what you have in the search window just under "Dolls & Bears" on the left, and "Shazam", there appears a list of present, up for auction items--in the "Display" box on the left select "Completed Items", a new list will appear, displaying completed items going back for 30 days.

Click here to return to the Top of the Kestner Dolls Page

Click here to return to the Antique Doll Advisors Home Page

eBay is an excellent website for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register.

Welcome to "Show and Tell" for early Kestner Dolls!

We all love to share. If you have photos and information about these lovely old Composition and Bisque dolls, please fill in the form below to "Show and Tell" your favorite Kestner doll. We all have an interest in how they were located, the use of materials in their clothing and anything else you would like to share with other avid collectors.

Enter Your Titlle

Click here to see the rest of the form and complete your submission.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

I have a doll with a bisque head marked, Made in Germany J.D.K. 237. She has, open dark brown eyes with painted eyelashes top and bottom, open mouth, …

Small Kestner w/Over the knee shirred Stockings 
Hi. I wanted share a wonderful little doll I have added to my collection. Although not marked with any ID other than #1's on the back of her head and upper …

Please help me with J.D.K. 247 doll 
Hi, I just purchased this doll and I know nothing about dolls. I am asking for your help as to the real deal here or a reproduction? Your help will …

doll with X it kestner?? 
hiya, I have been trying to do some research on this doll and cannot find her identity. I hear that Kestner dolls can have an x or xi on their heads …

A lovely Dome Head Hilda 
I have not found a lovelier Hilda doll. This one strikes me as so pretty because her eyebrows are darker than most other Hilda babies. Kestner used …

(Kestner Doll) I have just inherited a Kestner Doll from my uncle. She is 3 feet tall and has number "111" on her head. He tagged it which read "1898". …

Kestner 13 171 Made in Germany 
I have this beautiful Kestner doll, no wig or clothing. She has gorgeous blue sleep eyes and real eyelashes, not painted on. She measures about 2 feet …

Kestner baby doll 
I have my mother's baby doll. Since my mother was born in 1906, I'm guessing the doll must've been given to her when she was around 8 yrs. old, hence circa …

Kestner 154(?) 
We have inherited this doll which I understand from a Museum specialist is a Kestner, and it does look like a 154 mold to me. We would like to sell …

Genuine Hilda?? Not rated yet
This was my mother's most prized doll. Before she passed, she told me that she was valuable. After much research I am still uncertain if this is an …

hilda 237 is it a reproduction  Not rated yet
I was giving 2 dolls from one of my neighbors who is 70years old and they were her mothers, the Kestner doll is marked correctly 237 no holes in the base …

J.D.K. 157 - Original or Repro? Not rated yet
I have a bisque head marked "made in Germany J.D.K." and lower on the neck, "made in Germany 41". There is also a bisque shoulder plate and two bent …

Mystery German Doll Not rated yet
Ok... my great grandma (who died about 15 years ago at age 103) gave me this doll. I am certain it is very old... it was old when I got it when I was …

Early Kestner Character Baby Doll? Not rated yet
Hi, I inherited a beautiful doll from my mother, who said it is a J.D. Kestner Character Baby doll. The doll is about 27-28" long. It has a composite …

Andrew Not rated yet
Here is another photo of the doll that I thought might be a mold 154, but apparently not.

Click here to write your own.