Bartenstein Two Face Wax Doll

Double Face Doll

The double face doll made of wax was a new mechanical doll on the market in 1880’s.  The 1880’s was  time of change and innovation in doll making where sleep eyes, teeth, ball joints, voice boxes and mechanics were but a few of the new inventions added to the making of dolls.    Fritz  Bartenstein was no exception as he vied for his part of the doll market with his patented double faced doll head filed on July 5, 1881.

Wax had been used previously in doll making and admired for its skin-like qualities.  Many paper mache doll heads had been covered with wax as well as all wax heads to attain the desired soft image qualities of the material.  The downside was that it is not as stable as other materials and tends to crack and, of course, can melt, which is what happened to this doll head.  The original family kept the doll stored away for some 100 years hoping to restore it one day.   Because the antique doll had been stored so carefully, her body was prime and in like-new condition.

As Found

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll BEFORE

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll head BEFORE

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll head front BEFORE

 Paper macheshoulder plate& bonnet.* Heads wereto rotate inbonnet. The dome had been coveredwith a bonnet made of twolayers of fabric and lace.The metal most through themiddle of the head supportedthe faces as a pivot insidethe head. With the facesmelting, one face melted

into the other, with one

melted to the inside of the


Bartenstein 2 face wax doll head side BEFORE Bartenstein 2 face wax doll back BEFORE
Mechanics Bartenstein 2 face wax doll pull string  Pull strings extended out2 holes in the hip area.One string for cry box.Two strings for rotatingthe faces. Bartenstein 2 face wax doll inside body tubeBartenstein 2 face wax doll bottom of shoulder plate

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll body tube removed

Body tube removed

 The cylinder was to house the cry box assembly.  Astring attached to the cry box, exited out a hole in thebottom of the tube.  The two strings to rotate the headwere from the shoulder plate, through the tube andout the other hold at the bottom of the cylinder.The top of the tube was glued to the paper macheshoulder plate, with the  tube sliding into the body.plate seated on top of the cylinder.



Detached – melted faces

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll melted head removed from dome

FACE 1 (Crying) Removed from bonnet dome. Note features present, but smashed. (love original eyebrows!)

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll empty dome with eyes

DOME after heads removed. (heated with blow dryer to remove)

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll head AFTER removal from dome

FACE 2 (Smile) The eyes for the face were found in the melted mass.


Bartenstein 2 face wax doll mold for new face


To construct another smile face, a like- size  papermache head was used. The head was covered witha dental epoxy which hardened to a rubber state.Themelted  heads were separated,  saving theoriginal cry face,  which was melted flat to theinside of the bonnet dome. All excess wax wasmelted and poured into the mold (took 3 triesto get the right shape.


2 Faces

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll Cry face attached to post

Cry Face attached to post

 Two faces Again!!The heads are joined andattached to the post  Thecry face has been cleanedbut still needs detail work.The smile face has had nowork yet to smooth and addfeatures.

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll new smile face

New Smile Face


Bartenstein 2 face wax doll cry face AFTER


 the bonnet dome isattached, stabilized bythe metal post throughthe head. A strip ofhuman hair is attachedat the edge of the bonnetunder the fabric bonnetcover. The head rotates

easily by pulling the strings

out the holes at the hip.

Bartenstein 2 face wax doll new smile face AFTER


Restored! Bartenstein 2 face wax doll Bartenstein 2 face wax doll pull string
Ready to Send Your Doll?


Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

Process & FAQ
 Process & FAQ

CLICK here to find out how the process works from sending your doll, completion time, payment info and shipping.


You are amazing! I hope you don't mind if I post this all over Facebook . . .
Colleen Hayko

Colleen Hayko