Kestner Antique China Head Doll

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Description of Doll for Sale

I an pleased to have for sale a stunning example of an antique china head doll attributed to Kestner. This style of china head doll was made in Germany between 1860's and 1880's. It represents one of the finest German china head dolls made by Kestner in the 19th century. The Kestner china head doll is 23 inches tall.

This head style was made by Kestner in the 1860's through the 1880's. The doll has a cloth body with leather hands in integrated leather boots.  These features were seen mainly on earlier china head dolls in the 1840's through the 1860's.  The style of the dress is more of the 1870's and 1880's.  It is likely the doll was made in the 1860's and probably had a silk dress.  In the 1880's the doll was likely redressed because the original silk dress was deteriorating or just to get her dressed in the fashions of the day.  The dress is a fine wool challis.  When I got her she did not have the plaid taffeta trim on the dress. The antique dress which fitted the body well had sleeves and a skirt that were too short.  The 1880 remake may have had lace or silk trim that had deteriorated and was removed by a latter owner.  I added the plaid ruffles, apron and hat to better fill out the antique dress. 

This china head has her original cloth body with leather hands with individually stitched fingers.  She also has red socks and leather boots as part of the body.  Under the dress are two antique slips, a hoop skirt and bloomers.  The dress is lined and has a generous bustle in the back and a moderately long trained skirt. 


The doll is unmarked as are most 19th century china head dolls. Recent books on china head dolls have made a strong association between this particular head and the J.D. Kestner company.

Condition of Doll for Sale

The china head is perfect with no chips, cracks or repairs. There are some paint rubs on the back of the head.  (see pictures) You can click the pictures to see close-ups of the condition.


The dress and underwear is in good condition with no stains, rips, repairs or foxing.  The leather hands and boots are in great condition with no splits or repairs.  There is one button missing on the boots.  Leather boots of this style often had tassels hanging from the center top.  I don't see any remnants of tassels on either boot.  If they did have tassels they are long gone.  The cloth body is sound with no rips, stains, foxing or repairs.  Note that the clothes are sewn in so I could not inspect all of the body. 

This is an antique doll that will have some wear and imperfections expected in an antique or vintage doll.  I make every effort to describe all significant flaws in my descriptions and show them in the pictures.  Please read the description fully and examine all the pictures to be sure you understand the condition of the doll.  The pictures can be enlarged to show the doll in great detail.  If you have any questions or would like any additional information on this doll please email me and I will be glad to answer your question.  California residents are responsible for California Sales tax in addition to the purchase price shown.

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Availability: In Stock

Cost Price: $900 Shipping & Insurance: $59.00 Dollnum: #305


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Purchase Information

I accept credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. My credit card processing is done by PayPal Services but you do not need a PayPal account to purchase with a credit card. Click the "Buy Now" button above to complete your purchase. 

Terms and Shipping

The shipping charge includes packaging, insurance and tracking information.  Dolls over $500 will require a signature when they are delivered. I sell and ship only to the continental US (no Alaska and Hawaii).  I often ship by UPS so the shipment must be to an address (no P.O. boxes).

All items are guaranteed to be as described on this page regarding condition, attribution and attire. If you purchase something from me and feel it is not as represented on this page please contact me by phone, email or postmarked letter within three days of receiving the item and I will gladly refund your full payment excluding shipping fees.  To get a refund the item must be returned in it's original condition and with all garments and accessories. If you do not contact me within three days of receiving the item, it is understood by both the buyer and the seller that the item is as described and a return privilege is no longer available.