Here is Holley just wearing her kid shoes. A lot of times, these early dolls will be stitched into their clothing, so it truly is a treat to get to study and admire the craftsmanship that went into making them. Here you can clearly see what sets my Holley apart from so many other Grodner Tal dolls~ she has original gesso to the knee (typical), on her head and shoulder plate(typical), but this extends down her arms, including the entire upper arm, and even the joints(not typical). Usually just the parts of the doll that were to show were gessoed, and this is reinforced by her original wardrobe, including a pretty short sleeved gown.
Holley was originally a 'Tuck Comb' style, with a tall comb centered at the top of her head~ I have no doubt it was an elaborate one. The outline can clearly be seen, and since the area is so thick, this leads me to believe that hair was also part of the carving. It was either removed by the original maker, for whatever reason....or more likely, closely there after by the lucky young owner's father perhaps~ because little miss didn't want a grown up dollye, but a baby to play with. The majority of dolls like this were made and sold without clothing~ so the owner could dress as they liked
This is her back view~ and her burned in number is a 5...or perhaps a 57....later than Holley's, which makes sense, as her features, while still unique and very detailed, are just a smidge more hastily made. Perhaps our carver had grown so much in popularity, and demand for his dolls had risen to require him to carve at a more quickened pace. Note the wooden pegs at the joints~ elbow, hip & shoulder
Comparing the heads of both dollys, Holley on the top, Precious on the bottom~ so nearly identical, even the ears are carved the same and in the same placement on the head. Both have inserted wire loops for earrings, and little dimples carved in the sides of their mouths....kind of like they are persing their lips. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, do admire the bare carving visible on Holleys head where her gesso has fallen away
Twins. Just think of it~ traveling the world over for hundreds of years, and finally being reunited again. What stories they do tell each other! At the time these two dolls were made, we could probably count the master carvers in this region of Germany on all our fingers and toes....could 2 different men have carved 2 dolls this alike? I don't think so. Eyes, nose, cheeks, lips, ears~ even the ratio of where the face is placed on the head is nearly identical.