Doll Detective Mailbag: The Wrong Box!


After all the excitement of Barbie’s birthday, it’s time for a change of pace. We haven’t had a Mystery Doll in a while so here is a new one.

I received an email from Daniel who inherited some dolls from friends of his parents. Daniel sent me a photo of one of them that had him puzzled.

Daniel’s doll was in a Lissi box but although he found many Lissi dolls when he searched online for more information he could not find a photo of one like his. I did pretty much the same search and I couldn’t find one either.

Lissi dolls were marked as made in West Germany prior to reunification and after 1990 just Germany. There is still a Lissi website with a Hong Kong address and they are still producing dolls. However, the dolls that I found were vinyl dolls and Daniel’s doll looks completely different.

This doll has a porcelain head and limbs on a soft body. I was interested in the swing tag on her wrist and asked Daniel to send me a photo of it. This, along with the rooster pendant she wore provided a clue.

I did another search using this information and this time I turned up some pictures of similar dolls. Those of you in the USA and Canada are probably more familiar with these names than I am but it seems that Schmid was a company that made collectables such as dolls, ornaments and music boxes, many under licence for other companies. They made musical dolls for Howard Kaplan’s French Country Store around 1984.  I found one similar to this doll listed that played “Memory” from the musical “Cats”. Again I’m not familiar with Howard Kaplan’s but it seemed to be a store that sold a lot of giftware with a country theme. I am not aware whether it is still operating but I guess not.

Schmid closed in 1995 and apparently, some of their products have become quite popular with collectors.  Here is Daniel’s doll. I don’t think he has tried to see if her music box still works yet as he probably didn’t know she had one.

Porcelain doll with a soft body.
porcelain limbs on a soft body.

I think that we’ve pretty much solved the mystery but I’d love to hear from anyone who knows more about either Schmid or Howard Kaplan’s or perhaps has one of these dolls.

References:

http://www.worldcollectorsnet.com/features/schmid/

https://trademark.trademarkia.com/howard-kaplans-french-country-store-73496820.html

 

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9 comments

  1. I know nothing about the manufacturer or store or company who made the little doll, although this one has the necklace that matches the tag name of the store on. But like Marilyn said, many, many, porcelain dolls were made during the 1970s/80s and sold. They were popular dolls at that time and sold in many stores, out of catalogs, even on Home Shopping Club. Music boxes were not uncommon to be placed in the dolls.
    This one has a very sweet face and the nicer quality shoes on then many of the dolls had.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A P.S.,
    I checked on Ebay and found several pages of the musical Schmid dolls for sale. They seemed to follow a theme with their outfits and the music box songs inside of them. They ranged in price from $9.00 to $69.00.
    I did not see this particular style there though.
    It is a pretty little doll.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful doll. Schmid products were never sold in Perú so this is the first time I hear about them.
    I cannot stop thinking if this tittle’s entry is a reference to the R. L. Stevenson’s dark humor novel “The Wrong Box”. I love this book, it was translated to spanish as “Aventuras de un Cadáver” (“A Corpse’s Adventures”) because what was inside the box was a corpse. Despite the tittle, it is a quite funny novel 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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