Finding this doll head on OnlineAuction.com I decided to research it to find out the era it was made. Below is what I found so far.
Minerva Tin Doll Heads Regain Popularity with Collectors
Metal headed dolls were made in Germany from 1888 through the 1930s. They were meant to be more durable than the bisque/china headed dolls but many have not survived well, having a tendency for the paint to chip and crack or the head to rust. The heads were molded from a sheet of tin (or metal) and were usually found on kid leather or all cloth bodies. Due to age and use, the bodies of the dolls did not “outlive” the tin heads, which is why it is rare to find a full doll ~ tin head and body intact.
The most familiar name relating to tin head dolls is Minerva. They were manufactured in Germany from 1894 through the early 1930s by Buschow & Beck, a German company. The tin heads were sold separate from bodies, advertised in many old catalogues. Tin or metal head Minerva dolls were designed with painted hair, painted eyes, glass eyes and some with mohair wigs. There was also a sleep eye version.
Sears, Roebuck and Company, the famous mail-order house, offered in the early 1900’s an extensive toy line which included both complete dolls and Minerva doll heads ready to be sewn onto a handmade body. Their 1902 catalogue advertised Minerva doll heads made of painted sheet metal. The heads were described as indestructible, as metal was more durable than the popular bisque or china and came in a number of sizes. The most common size Minerva head measured 4.25 inches tall and 3.25 inches wide at the shoulders.
In the 1910 Sears catalog, a doll with the Minerva tin head. This doll was no doubt bought complete and fully dressed. Her finely detailed sheet-metal head is sewn onto a kid body stuffed with sawdust. She was dressed in a petticoat decorated with lace and embroidery sewn by machine, which helped to lower the cost of production.
It is only recently that doll collectors have started to appreciate the unique quality of these simple tin or metal head doll children. Many collect just the Minerva tin doll heads and display them on a shelf. Years ago they were on the bottom of the list of desirable dolls, now they have a firm position in the history of doll making.
Thankyou to Todaysvintage.com for letting me put this on my blog!! 🙂