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Friend helps our doll collection, 05.03.2018

A rare 1900-10s German doll by Kämmer & Reinhardt has joined our museum collection thanks to Ms Svetlana Pchelnikova, a Friend of Tsarskoe Selo and President of the International Association of Doll Artists (IADA).

The doll came in great condition, with just a minor factory defect on the left ear. Its closing eyes of pale blue/gray glass, eyelashes and teeth are authentic. So is its typical Kämmer & Reinhardt body of wood and composites, with relief heels and small hands showing some careful restored minor chips.

A K&R mark with the Star of David on the head sits near an engraved mould number 191, an early mould by the German doll manufacturer Kestner, supposedly commissioned by Kämmer & Reinhardt which made no porcelain doll heads of its own.

Following early twentieth century doll clothing models, the doll wears a dress of old white-blue cotton muslin, trimmed with linen and Valenciennes laces and a blue satin ribbon, as well as an underdress, shoes and accessories made of present-day materials.

The rooms of junior grand duchesses at the Alexander Palace used to have gorgeous late nineteenth-early twentieth century dolls, mostly produced by Armand Marseille, Simon & Halbig, Heinrich Handwerck, Кämmer & Reinhardt and Kestner. In 1932 much of that collection went to and now stays at Sergiev Posad’s Toy Museum and the State Hermitage.

Although Tsarskoe Selo now possesses neither dolls nor toys from the original Children’s Rooms of the Alexander Palace, except for the French puppet theater set of Tsesarevich Alexei, by now we have managed to obtain over thirty similar foreign and Russian items from that historical period. According to Ms Elena Kalugina, our Household/Everyday Objects Curator, the substitutes will help us recreate an authentic atmosphere of the Children’s Rooms, where the donated doll will go on display after the Alexander Palace’s restoration.

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