Aug 5 2013

A Collection Of Masterpieces

Himstedt Porcelain Catalog

A wonderful collection of Annette's porcelain Artist's Proofs spanning her entire career

Beginning with her porcelain Unicef dolls and continuing though her 2005 Porcelain editions, Annette Himstedt’s porcelain dolls have been treasured by collectors worldwide. This amazing catalog is 118 pages and loaded with amazing photos that beautifully show off these breathtaking Artist’s Proofs.

This catalog features 126 of Annette’s Artist’s Proofs. These dolls were the very first from each series, handmade by Annette herself, and they truly reflect her vision as an artist. Viewing the book is like traveling through time as you see Annette develop as an artist and grow with each passing series. There dolls are true masterpieces, even the accessories are fantastic.

The book includes quotes and insight from Annette regarding the challenges and triumphs from each year. This particular quote is regarding her 1999 Collection as Toy Fair rapidly approached…“I can’t count the time we ran the huge kiln nearly empty just to be able to finish individual pieces. Once we fired it up for a handful of tiny blossoms. Anyone would have delared us insane… But I didn’t have a choice – I had to get everything finished on time.”

Sali Artist Proof 2 of 2

Sali Artist Proof 2 of 2 from 1996

Featured on the cover (seen above) is Undine, Annette’s porcelain mermaid. The book features an informative recollection from Annette on how the production of this incredible piece took place. The porcelain water spirit is 5’7 from head to tail and took 14 months to complete.

There is also a letter from Annette where she speaks of sending all of her Porcelain Artist’s Proofs to the U.S. to be offered to collectors. “When I last saw all my porcelain children and held them in my hands, it became very clear to me that they possess an unbelievable charm. I got very emotional in the process. It is my wish that you, dear collector, have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy these special dolls.”

The fabulous photography beautifully shows each doll and there are also an abundance of close-up shots that highlight the incredible detail and sculpting involved with these editions. If you are an Anette Himtedt enthusiast, or an enthusiast of fine works of art, this catalog/retrospective will surely delight you.


Aug 4 2011

The Book Bill’s Journey – Annette Himstedt In Her Own Words

Bill's Journey Book by Annette Himstedt

Bill's Journey Around The World by Annette Himstedt

There are many books about doll artists but very few have been created by the artist themselves. This coffee-table book about German doll artist Annette Himstedt is definitely something you will want to leave out and show off. With all of the beautiful photos (many are full page closeups) and the unique and interesting graphic design of the book this book will draw in and captivate anyone who sees it. Oh, and one more very interesting feature… since Annette Himstedt is a German doll artist the book is written in both German AND English. Annette would continue including both languages with her catalogs announcing the new collections.

The book is available at The Toy Shoppe. On their site it states:

She leads us on a wonderful journey and takes us into her studio and factory…

Originally published in 1997, it took four years to create this book with Annette writing the content herself. It was a family project as well since Dierk Himstedt is credited with the “ final Text” and Imke Himstedt is credited with the “Design.” The book was published by Bonifatius GmbH in Paderborn, Germany, the same town where Annette Himstedt’s doll manufactory was located..

Bill’s Journey Around The World is a unique book both in size and content. It is 176 pages, hardbound with a dust jacket that wraps the book in a bright blue coat. The book also features an index in the back showing her Kinder auz Porzellan (porcelain dolls) and her Puppen Kinder (vinyl dolls) up to publication. The book mainly focuses on Annette’s dolls but also includes and Annette Himstedt Autobiography section which chronicles in detail with photos the begining of her career up til the books publishing in 1997.

In 1985 Annette traveled to Senegal Africa for a UNICEF project. They were interested in a line of dolls based on the children of other cultures. Although the line was never produced, the trip had profound effect on Annette and was a huge influence in the diversity of her future dolls.

Bill's Journey Around The World book Annette Himstedt dolls

The photography in Bill's Journey captures Annette Himstedt's dolls at play.

The title of the book becomes apparent as you meet all of the beautiful dolls Annette has based on different countries and elasticities around the world. The photography is stunning as the dolls are placed in very interesting scenes often depicting their origin. You travel with Bill from Japan to China, Nepal, India, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Spain, France, Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway,England, Russia, Senegal, Tuscany, Greenland, Corsica, Belgium, Mexico, Kenya, New Zealand, and the USA.

Annette takes us to mythical places as well including  Above the Sea, Land of the Fairies, and Under the Sea. Under the sea features Undine, the incredibly beautiful, life-size porcelain mermaid that was the centerpiece in the foyer of Annette Himstedt’s manufactory.

Bill's Journey Around The World book Undine Annette Himstedt

Bill's Journey Around The World book features beautiful photography including this image of Undine by Annette Himstedt

Annette Himstedt’s artistic integrity and drive always pushed her to excel when creating her dolls. She pushed the limits on this book as well and all in all this is a magnificent, one-of-a-kind book. Turning each page reveals an unexpected and enjoyable feast for the eyes. Although Annette has closed her manufactory, this books remains a wonderful chronicle of her talent and artistry.

As mentioned before, the book Bill’s Journey is available at The Toy Shoppe in Richmond Virginia. They also have a good selection of Annette Himstedt dolls for sale including dolls from Annette’s personal collection as well as Annette Himstedt’s Artist’s Proofs.