What is the German Doll Company?

A brief history...

During the heyday of the German porcelain making industry in 1900, the area of the Thuringian Wald (in what was formerly East Germany) had as many as 200 factories producing dolls for the American market.  The Hertwig factory in Katzhutte alone turned out 2.000 dozen dolls per day during the winter months!  Seconds were usually disposed of by merely dumping them behind the factory or using them as filler beneath factory floorboards - an inexpensive substitute for insulation materials.  Along with the huge number of dolls being turned out every day also came an equally large number of plaster molds in which each porcelain doll head, arms, legs, etc. had to be poured.

At the very most, one mold could be used to pour 15 doll heads, as the features of each piece become less crisp with each pouring.  Instead of disposing thousands of molds per week, molds were often mortared into interior and exterior walls of the porcelain factories, or given to the poor factory workers who gladly used them to build chicken houses, barns or homes - again an inexpensive substitute for expensive building materials.  Only a few of the porcelain factories remain standing, lost through war or fire.  Most of those that did survive have been torn down since the reunification of Germany.

Some of the turn-of-the-century molds that have been uncovered from these sites were used by the German Doll Company to reproduce new figures.

Note: There no longer is a German Doll Co. website, & most probably registered company.  Also Roland Schlegel (the German founder of the German Doll Co.) has been, & continues to sell duplicate German Doll Co. Bonzo figurines on eBay.  They are not marked German Doll Co. and are listed as old!  Buyer beware!


 
The New Bonzos
 
 


In 1999, some of the original 1920's Bonzo molds were found.  After consultation, the company obtained the worldwide license to reproduce from these original molds.

 

A large figurine - 5 inches tall

A lamp-base - the lamp stand is molded on to Bonzo's back.
It stands 6 inches tall


 

A lidded jar, probably intended as a tobacco jar.  With its head, it stands 4 inches tall


 

Bonzo & a cat figurine.  These also come as a salt & pepper cruit set.  They both stand at 2 inches tall

The smallest of the figurines, at 2 inches tall


 

A toothbrush holder - with a separate chamber for your brush.
This figure is also 2 inches tall


 
 

A Bonzo clock.
The whole piece is 5 inches tall & 6 inches wide