Sep 24 2013

A Very Special Little Girl

Ajescha

A favorite of collectors from Annette's 2008 Sommer Kinder Collection

Over the years, Annette Himsted has created an amazing number of unforgettable dolls. In 2008, Annette closed her manufactory, ending an unparalleled 23-year creative era. In one of her final collections before retiring, Annette created what has become a modern classic and a favorite of collections. Ajescha

This edition is an incredible example of all the work and innovation that goes into a Himstedt doll. She is 36 5/8 inches tall and fully jointed at the head, upper arms, elbows and knees. She has an exclusive body and limbs, solely used for her and another 2008 Sommer Kinder,  Sini. Her long, luscious wig is made of real hair and is semi-hand knotted and meticulously styled. She features mouth-blown glass eyes, made in Germany, an exclusive Himstedt design.

Ajescha’s outfit is an exclusive Himstedt design and dyed in Annette’s exclusive Himstedt colors. To complement her outfit, Annette has chosen hand-dyed and hand-knitted cherry-red socklets and matching shoes.

When you combine these features with a head sculpt that was created by one of the all time great doll artists at her creative and sculptural peak, you get one of the most incredible vinyl dolls ever created. Ajescha was produced in a very limited edition size of 377, adding to her desirability.

 


Aug 29 2011

Best Place To Buy An Annette Himstedt Doll

Doll collectors around the world have been buying Annette Himstedt dolls for almost 25 years. Now that Annette no longer makes new collections of her Kinder Puppen dolls, where is the best place to buy your next Himstedt doll? The Toy Shoppe of Richmond, Virginia is a favorite choice among doll collectors and here are ten good reasons why:

  1. Longevity – The Toy Shoppe has been in business in Richmond, Virginia since 1975.
  2. History With Annette – Danny and Barrie, the owners, were the first to bring Annette Himstedt porcelain dolls to the USA.
  3. Selection – Even when dolls were being allocated to stores, The Toy Shoppe had a great selection available. The Toy Shoppe is still offering new Himstedt dolls! When Annette closed her manufactory in Paderborn Germany, she sent many of the dolls that were at the manufactory to The Toy Shoppe. In fact, many of The Toy Shoppe’s Annette Himstedt dolls are still new in box!
  4. Beautiful catalogs – No one creates the beautiful catalogs that The Toy Shoppe does. A great reference or just wonderful to look at and enjoy!
  5. Artist’s ProofsAnnette Himstedt’s Artists Proofs are represented solely by The Toy Shoppe. This is the only place you can get one of these remarkable dolls by Annette Himstedt. You can learn more about what makes an Artist’s Proof special by clicking here.
  6. Respected – Danny and Barrie have been selling fine artists dolls for over three decades. They are often quoted in magazines like Doll Reader and DOLLS. They are also the only retailer to have ever won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Jones Publishing. Every other winner has been an artist or manufacturer. Other recipients include R. John Wright, Steiff, Madame Alexander and Helen Kish – each a  giant in the doll or Teddy bear world. This is a very prestigious group to be associated with!
  7. Friendly Staff – The Toy Shoppe staff is both friendly and knows a lot about an Annette Himstedt doll. You can call them toll free at 1 800 447-7995 and they’ll be happy give you the personal attention you need to choose the perfect Himstedt doll for you.
  8. Doll Gallery – The Toy Shoppe has been located in the very same store in Richmond, Virginia for over three decades. It is easy to get to off of the major highways when traveling through Virginia. Every Himstedt collector should stop and see their many Annette Himstedt dolls on display. No one has a better display of Annette Himstedt dolls than The Toy Shoppe!
  9. Website – There is no other web site with the selection of beautiful Annette Himstedt dolls on display as www.TheToyShoppe.com. Lots of beautiful pictures – many they take themselves of the actual doll!
  10. Flexible, AMC Payment Plan – Annette Himstedt dolls are amazing and are priced accordingly. The Toy Shoppe offers interest-free, monthly payment plans that can be customized to suit you. Now everyone can afford there very own Himstedt doll!

With all this going for them, there isn’t any doubt that The Toy Shoppe is the best place to buy your Annette Himstedt doll.


Aug 23 2011

How Annette Himstedt Created A New Realism Movement In Doll Making

German doll srtist Annette Himstedt is the latest in a distinct group of doll artists who defined their era. Over the past 200 years, new materials have been introduced that vastly changed the look and feel and possibilities available in doll making. Modern materials such as porcelain, vinyl, composition and resin had great affect on how we interact with dolls. These mediums affect a doll’s longevity and appearance. The materials also constrain or release an artist’s creativity through their very nature and physical properties. And yet over that same 200 years, there have been very few artistic Movements in doll making or innovative doll artists with the influence of Bru or Jumeau or the Munich Art Dolls of the early 1900s. There has been little “revolution” in dollmaking styles over that time. So when one came along, it was very contagious. This modern day doll revolution was begun by Annette Himstedt in the 1980s.

Before Annette, dolls were classic, simple and straightforward like those of Kathe Kruse. Renowned Swiss artist and dollmaker Sasha Morgenthaler designed her dolls with inexpressive, open looks that allowed them to be more adaptable to imaginative play than if they were forever smiling. Their differences were subtle and these dolls continue to be beloved around the world.

Annette took a different approach and broke many accepted conventions in dollmaking. As explained by Danny and Barrie Shapiro of The Toy Shoppe who first brought her dolls to the USA in 1986:

With her Barefoot Children in 1986, Annette Himstedt established a bold new direction for doll making. Gone was any mannequin-like structure: her dolls were like children at play with bent arms and fingers sculpted in relaxed, natural positions. Annette captured movement in her sculpts with her innovative natural posing. The large scale of her dolls was unique and very engaging. And their shoes, usually an integral part of a doll, were completely gone!

Annette Himstedt Barrie Danny New York Toy Fair

Annette Himstedt with Barrie and Danny at the New York Toy Fair in 2006

Perhaps it was her beginnings in portrait dolls that made Annette so in tune with that essence of childhood in which we all delight. Perhaps her background in fashion moved her to capture mood and expression in her dolls. Whatever the reason behind her drive, she was determined to bring her own artistic doll visions to life and did with amazing success. Her dolls were alive and both collectors and artists were drawn to them. Danny and Barrie of The Toy Shoppe expound:

This dramatic change sparked a renewed interest in dolls and Annette has presented fresh and exciting creations for over two decades! When history reflects on this time, it will surely credit Annette for inspiring artists to new and remarkable levels of creativity in the Realistic Doll Movement of the twentieth century.

In 2008, Annette closed her manufactory in Paderborn, Germany, and an era in contemporary dollmaking came to a sad close. She entrusted her good friends Danny and Barrie to represent her substantial personal collection ans well as the porcelain and vinyl artist proofs which she had accumulated over two decades of dollmaking. You can buy many of Annette Himstedt Puppen Kinder, Kinder aus Porzellan and Artist’s Proofs at The Toy Shoppe.


Aug 22 2011

Prince Namor: 2006 Club Doll by Annette Himstedt

Prince Namor - Annette Himstedt 2006 boy doll

Prince Namor - Annette Himstedt 2006 Club Doll

Over her career, Annette Himstedt create many more girl dolls than boy doll, but the boy dolls were very special in themselves. One was the 2006 Annette Himstedt Club doll, Prince Namor. As part of the Children of Atlantis collection, Prince Namor shared many of the unique characteristics from this underwater theme. His clothing was designed by Annette herself and contained real, hand-painted, golden-iridescent shells in it. According to Annette, over 60,000 shells were painted for the outfits in this collection. His face had the gold accents hand painted on it (collector’s choice). His face and hand are very expressive. Prince Namor has a fully jointed body which means he has jointed upper arms, elbows, and knees. As a Himstedt Club doll, you had to be a member of the club to purchase Prince Namor and one of the benefits of joining was getting a free Kleine doll of one of the Club Dolls either Prince Namor or Princess Mera.

The theme for Annette Himstedt‘s 2006 collection was Children of Atlantis which she took literally to make a collection of doll who lived under the sea! There were a total of 36 dolls in this collection including the Club dolls Prince Namor and Princess Mera. Annette photographed her dolls beautifully together and at play. The centerpiece for the collection was the impending “Pledging Ritual” of Prince Namor and Princess Mera to which all the dolls dressed in their finest outfits and attended.

Prince Namor and Princess Mera in the Pledging Ritual - Annette Himstedt 2006 dolls.jpg

Prince Namor and Princess Mera in the Pledging Ritual with Annette Himstedt's 2006 Children of Atlantis dolls

In Annette’s 2006 Catalog, she wrote a great deal about the storyline for her undersea collection. It obviously took great imagination to depart from her traditional dolls and create something so special. And 36 dolls… that would be a lot for anybody company to make! She wrote this about the mermaids but I think it might have been about herself after the dolls were made:

When all the work was done the mermaids sank exhausted into their shell chairs and looked happily and proudly upon their works of art.

Prince Namor, Lisa Lu and Tikiri -  Dolls by Annette-Himstedt

Prince Namor, Lisa Lu and Tikiri - Part Of The Children Of Atlantis Dolls by Annette-Himstedt


Aug 19 2011

Tawni: A Very Special Artist Doll By Annette Himstedt

Tawni Annette Himstedt Puppen Kinder Doll

Annette Himstedt’s doll Tawni is from the 2005 Children's World Summit Collection

We don’t often think of cultures when they originate in the USA, but Annette Himstedt looked deep into many countries to find inspiration for her dolls. In the United States she found Navaho Native Americans. Her doll Tawni is a beautiful doll that represents this culture.

Tawni stands about 34 inches tall and wears an outfit inspired by the Navaho’s but designed totally by Annette. The colors she chose for the outfit are rich and inviting: dusty purple with accents of deep red and teal. There are also feathers tied into the outfit. On her feet are brown moccasins.

Annette Himstedt dolls are always dressed perfectly, but it is the faces that she sculpts that are truly captivating. Tawni captures your eyes and that face is a delight to look upon. Her hair is set in pigtails tied with ribbons and loose bangs.

Tawni was one of Annette Himstedt’s Puppen Kinder – vinyl play dolls based on children. Tawni is from Annette’s 2005 collection called World’s Children Summit and very popular doll from the series.

You can see more of Tawni at The Toy Shoppe located in Richmond, Virginia. They were the first shoppe to offer Annette’s dolls in the USA in the 1980s and continue to have the best selection of Himstedt dolls. Click here to see them all.


Aug 15 2011

Annette Himstedt: A Cinderella Story

Aschenputtel - Cinderella doll by Annette Himstedt

Aschenputtel - 2003 vinyl doll by Annette Himstedt

For her 2003 vinyl collection,  doll artist Annette Himstedt brought to life a fairy tale of renown. Her two dolls, Aschenputtel and Cinderella, bring to life the classic fairy tale. Aschenputtel is from the version by the German brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The story is called Aschenputtel after the German name for Cinderella. Annette based her first doll on this story:

A rich gentleman’s wife lay dying, and she called her only daughter, the Cinderella figure, to her bedside. She asked the daughter to remain kind and generous, and God will protect her. She then died and was buried. Within the year, the widower married another woman, who had two beaitiful yet evil daughters. The stepsisters forced the girl to become a kitchen maid, stripping her of her fine clothes and possessions. Despite their cruelty, the girl remained pure in heart, and wept daily by her mother’s grave.

One day, the gentleman visits the city, promising his stepdaughters gifts of luxury. His own daughter merely asks for the first twig to knock his hat off on the way. She plants the twig, waters it with her tears and over the years, it grows into a silver birch tree. In its branches lives a dove, which comforts the girl during her misery.

The king gives a festival for three nights, and each time the girl retreats to the graveyard to ask for help. The dove presents her with gowns of gold and silver, but always leaving before the last strike of midnight. The Prince falls in love with her and threads off one of her golden shoes, but the sisters tried to trick the Prince by cutting off parts of their feet. The doves living on the tree alert the Prince to their treachery, and in the end during Aschenputtel’s wedding the birds fly down and strike the two sisters blind for the rest of their lives.

- source Wikipedia

Annette Himstedt’s Aschenputtel includes a dove (made of clay) as well as a bowl of peas. She is a beautiful doll a little over 36 inches tall. As the working maid for the house, Aschenputtel wears a pink scarf atop her hair and a ragged dress. Aschenputtel shares the same head mold as Cinderella so the transformation from poor scullery maid to princess is almost magical. More about Cinderella to come.

The Toy Shoppe in Richmond, Virginia, still has Aschenputtel by Annette Himstedt for sale. According to their web site, when Annette closed her manufactory, The Toy Shoppe worked with Annette to represent the pieces from her personal collection as well as her Artist’s Proofs. As of this writing, they still have a vinyl edition available as well as  Artist Proof 1/1 of Aschenputel by Annette Himstedt.


Aug 5 2011

Annette Himstedt Timeline

This timeline shows a Annette Himstedt’s career in doll making. This is shown originally on The Toy Shoppe’s website:

  • 1980 Annette begins modeling in porcelain, developing the technical expertise which would later bring her great acclaim within the doll world.
  • 1984 Neighborhood children model for a collection of portrait dolls, bringing magazine publicity and notoriety almost overnight.
  • 1984 During a trip to Africa for UNICEF Annette photographs a young girl named Fatou and sculpts her. This is the catalyst for Annette to create a line of vinyl dolls. Fatou, Lisa and Bekus were her first non-porcelain dolls.
  • 1986 Annette settles on Puppen Kinder (Doll Children) and Kinder Aus Porzellan (Porcelain Children) and registers these names as her trademarks. Danny and Barrie from the Toy Shoppe meet Annette at her booth in the Nuremberg Toy Fair where she introduces her Barefoot Children to instant commercial success.
  • 1988 Annette resolves to build her own doll manufactory in Paderborn, Germany.
  • 1986-2000 Signing tours across America and Europe give Annette the chance to meet many collectors.
  • 1990 Annette and her team move into her new doll manufactory. She finally has the scope to develop new techniques and realize them. As many as 80 people will be employed there at one time.
  • 1996 Himstedt Club founded. Member benefits include Undine, a club magazine chronicling Annette’s work. Club Gift is mini version of annual Club Doll.
  • 2002 Every doll in each collection would be a limited edition from this time forward for more exclusivity.
  • 2005 The first World’s Children Summit featuring dolls of varying ethnicity, from Eastern Europe, to the Caribbean to Africa. Such variety was a refreshing change from the often stereotypical selections produced by other designers.
  • 2007 Open Days begun to allow collectors to see up close every stage of the doll making process and meet the artist.
  • 2008 Annette closes her manufactory, ending an unparalleled 23-year creative era. Demand for her past editions increases as production ends.

Thanks to The Toy Shoppe for allowing us to use their information. You can call them toll free at 1 800 447-7995 if you are interested in Annette Himstedt dolls. Danny and Barrie have had Annette’s dolls since the 1980 and the shoppe offers payment plans that are very easy and convenient (and interest free)!


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.