Tin Head Doll Repair

Metal Head Dolls

If their paint had been as sturdy as their composition, these metal head dolls would have survive indefinitely. Metal heads were molded from a sheet of tin (or metal) and usually found on kid leather or all cloth bodies.  Metal head dolls were sold separate from bodies, advertised in many old catalogs.

Minerva Tin Head Doll

The Juno metal head and  Minerva tin head doll was an effort by the doll industry to produce a doll that did not break as easily as the china head dolls or the bisque head dolls.  They had features of the china head dolls with short curly hair of the the 1890s  and the blown glass eyes of the German bisque dolls.  Painted in flesh tones, the doll did stand the test of time with a few dents and rust spots.  the doll his Minerva head had the most lovely blue blown glass eyes that it was a shame to leave her chipped  and in the drawer.

Minerva Tin Head Doll

Some heads had very simple designs with painted eyes and mouth

Minerva Tin Head Doll

Back view with short curls

Minerva Tin Head Doll

Simple cloth body

Minerva Tin Head Doll

Typical wear and tear of Minerva tin head doll

Minerva Tin Head after

After repair and restoration

IMG_1560

Another sample of a restored Minerva with teeth

Tin Head Boy Doll

This unusual antique tin head boy doll head is not found often.  The tin head has a flange type neck socket where the head is held  to the body with a draw string.  Most tin head doll head have a shoulder plate like a china doll so having a draw string was an unusual shoulder plate style not seen on most tin heads. This tin head boy doll had very nice decal eyes with lots of expression.  In an effort to retain the original decoration of the eyes, they were masked off while the rest of the tin doll head was painted.

Tin head boy doll before

BEFORE tin head boy with paint flaking

Tin head doll boy doll head after

AFTER Unusual Tin head doll head boy after restoration

Tin Head Minerva

Tin head Minerva found in dessert

BEFORE tin head, rusted, no eyes, no color

German Tin head Minerva complete

AFTER fully restored with eyes and clothing

Tin head found in dessert

AFTER ready to go home

This tin head Minerva was found in the dessert on the old family homestead, the owner could not bear to throw her away because she could have been a treasured doll of a long ago relative.  The tin head Minerva dolls were a German product, fashioned after the china head dolls.  The lowbrow china head was a typical model.  It was thought that the tin would be more durable than a breakable china head.

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ANTIQUE CHILD DOLL RESTORATION
Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

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 Process & FAQ

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