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The Kathe Kruse Doll Studio is the oldest German Doll company that still continues to make dolls using the techniques established by Kathe Kruse herself decades ago.




The story begins in 1905 when Käthe Kruse´s daughter Maria, also called Mimerle (pictured with Kathe Kruse in the photo), asked for a doll as a Christmas present. Her father, the famous sculptor Max Kruse, went to all the stores in Berlin, but all he saw were dolls that appeared to him to be stiff and unnatural. He thought that such dolls could never awaken motherly feelings in his daughter and so he told Käthe Kruse to design her own doll. Using the materials she had readily available, she took a towel, filled it with sand and created the head from a potato. The first doll was born! Little Mimerle instantly fell in love with it. The potato didn't last long and so inspired by her daughter´s love for the little doll, Käthe Kruse decided to develop her doll making skills. At that time, she never would have dreamt that this would be the beginning of a worldwide career! In 1911 Käthe Kruse started making her beautiful handmade dolls in an apartment in Berlin. Her first important order came from the American toy shop, FAO Schwartz. Today the company continues to flourish employing the same loving care and attention to detail that Kathe Kruse brought to each of her dolls. The Käthe Kruse Company is proud that they have been providing quality items to children for more than 100 years. They continue to uphold the spirit of their founder and her motto, "the hand follows the heart" continues to inspire them.

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That's a very interesting and sweet story. I have a few questions though. Are these dolls marked in any certain way? And what would you say is the average selling prices of these dolls?

Vicki,

     Most are not marked.  The ones that are have a stamp on the bottom of the foot.  The prices really vary a lot as to the particular doll.  Some of the very rare old all cloth dolls can be worth as much as $10,000.  These early dolls were all cloth with a thic layer of paint over the head.  They are stuffed with reindeer hair.  In the late 40's they switched to a plastic head.  Kruse dolls are still being made today, but they have a plastic head with the reindeer hair stuffed body.  They also make all vinyl dolls now. 

 

For an average price, I would say the older dolls $2,000- $5,000 depending on condition and rarity and for the newer ones $500-$200.

WOW! Thanks for the info - these are definitly worth hunting for then! :)

These are some pics of my Kruse dolls.  The baby in blue is a newer (1980's) version of an older doll - Du Mein.  The Girl in red and white is from the late 40's or early 50's.  The others except for the last girl are recent dolls made for UFDC events.  The last doll is Daumlinchen made in the late 50's - 1982.  They were made with foam rubber inside and most often this is deteriorated.

Hello, would anyone happen to know the name and original outfit of this little one. She is a replica of the VII doll with a DuMein face, the Kathe Kruse company told me that she is Erika, but I don't think so because Erika has blond hair and was in an edition of 600 and this one I have was an edition of 50 and has red hair. Help!

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