The Kämmer & Reinhardt doll company was formed in 1886 in Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany. From 1886 to 1909 K & R made only dolly faced dolls with a bisque head on a composition ball jointed or kid body, many with an open mouth and teeth. After 1909 they made many types of dolls; bisque, composition or celluloid heads and even cloth costume dolls with wired bodies dressed in various professions. Now, an extremely rare and unique K & R 108 bisque head character doll has been sold for £242,500 ($400,000) at Bonhams‘ Fine and Rare Character Dolls auction. This life like doll thus became the world’s most expensive doll ever sold.
Since the sale of this doll at auction in 1994 no other example has been found. It is therefore possible that this doll was an experimental mould. This doll is undoubtedly modelled from the same child as moulds 103 and 109, however she has a more adult expression, with heavier moulding, full upper lip and her unique pierced ears all creating a striking portrait of a young lady.
The lot description: “The well moulded pale bisque head with finely painted blue/grey eyes with darker outer line to iris and red inner corner dot, white dot for reflection and painted upper eye-lid, single stroke brown eyebrows and closed slightly smiling mouth with shaded lips, two small red dots for nostrils and pierced ears, having auburn wig in two plaits with white ribbons, the eight ball jointed wood and composition body with swivel wrists and voice-box, wearing a white pin-tucked and broderie-anglaise cotton dress with lace cuffs, and with pale blue ribbon detail and sash, white cotton petticoat, bloomers and straw bonnet, incised K&R, 108, (kiln speck under right jaw with some discolouration to surrounding area, shading under chin, crack to one thigh, neck of body with some cracks/dents, toes scuffed), 64cm (25¼in) tall.”