Montag, 12. März 2012

MATA HARI HALF DOLLS - ANTIQUES, REPROS AND FAKES

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, better known by the stage name : MATA HARI, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and accused spy, whose name has become a synonym for the seductive female spy. She was born on August 7, 1876 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and  executed on October 15, 1917 by a French firing squad under charges of spying for Germany during World War I. The nature and extent of her espionage activities (double agency) remain uncertain, and her guilt is widely contested.

Please read more on WIKIPEDIA at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari


Fasold & Stauch, who was located in Bock-Wallendorf/Thuringia manufactured a series of half dolls in different sizes portraying Mata Hari. The black/white photo is an excerpt of an old Fasold & Stauch catalogue, showing one of their Mata Hari dolls alongside with a doll portraying Josephine Baker.  The catalogue page shows primarily Art Deco ladies; therefore I would date it to about 1920-1925.


Bruno Schmidt of Waltershausen/Thuringia, a well-known producer of dolls and half-dolls, made this lovely Mata Hari half doll about 1920-30. The doll is marked with his "heart mark".

Three photos are taken from the book THE HALF DOLL by Shona & Marc Lorrin, Vol. 7

BEWARE! The blonde half doll is antique and probably a Mata Hari half doll made by Weiss, Kühnert & Co./Thuringia (described in a Weiss, Kühnert & Co. catalogue as Arabian dancer). The reproductions and fakes in the photo (number 1,2,3)are recently made in Thuringia from re-worked original molds (forms) and showing up with a golden or silver brassiere as well as INCISED mold numbers.  
Shona & Marc Lorrin, author of a series of books on half dolls “The Half dolls and related items, makers and values, Vols.1-7)” described the difference between antique and these repros and fakes in their book Vol. 7 as following: 
“The original models all had bras painted in (dull) gold (some were fired and some were cold painted); NONE of the originals had silver bras and NONE had the split arm bracelet seen here."
Apart from that, NONE of the original half dolls shows both, a painted red lid line AND a painted eye shadow; NONE of the original antique  Mata Hari half dolls was made with a bird or parrot molded to the hand. NONE of the antique half dolls shows such a plump and clumsy bird molded to the hand, arm, shoulder or whatever. 
The Mundial Company from Belgium recently copied the Thuringian Mata Hari repros and fakes. The collectors` markets and eBay auctions are now “overflooded” with these Mata Hari repro/fake dolls with a golden or silver brassiere, sew-holes and no holes in the base, incised numbers to imitate the genuine antique German dolls, some with a feather in the hair springing out of a hole in the head etc. etc. 
The statement of the German/Thuringian reproducer/repro dealer (owner of a large number of original Weiss, Kühnert & Co. molds/forms, who sells reproductions and fakes on eBay as "old" or "antique"): "after 1922 it was forbidden in Germany to produce Mata Hari figurines" can  be considered to be a "laughingstock".

Article of a German magazine "Revue of the month,  Juli 1927" on female spies

Kommentare:

  1. How nice of you to provide so much information about the different half dolls. There is an exhibition at the "Hessisches Puppenmuseum Hanau-Wilhelmsbad" that shows so many of the litte beauties you are discribing but with little background information.

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  2. Hallo, vielen Dank für Ihren freundlichen Kommentar. Dieser Blog ist auch eine Art von Ausstellung, allerdings mit der Zielsetzung Informationen über Hersteller und Besonderheiten, und soweit möglich, auch die Geschichten der Personen, welche die Teepuppen darstellen, mit einzuflechten. Ich habe von vorneherein diesen Blog nicht als reine „Zurschaustellung“ möglichst vieler meiner Puppen begriffen, das wäre mir einfach zu langweilig (und den Lesern wahrscheinlich auch). Ich bin selber eine Langzeit-Sammlerin und hoffe, dass es mir mit diesem Blog gelingt, anderen Menschen meine Begeisterung am Sammeln von Teepuppen, diesen etwas kurios anmutenden „halben Figuren oder halben Puppen mit Löchern im Sockel“ vermitteln zu können. Vielleicht springt doch bei dem/der einen oder anderen der Funke über, das wäre natürlich ganz toll! Schwerpunkt sind Teepuppen aus Porzellan aus deutscher und französischer Herstellung, weil ich nur diese sammle. Ich würde mich freuen, wenn Sie auch weiterhin reinschauen. Herzliche Grüße

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