Kestner #245 Hilda

Name: Kestner #245 Hilda

Made by and When: J. D. Kestner, 1914

Material: Brown bisque socket head on brown fully-jointed composition slant hip toddler body

Marks: G Made in / 11.Germany / 245 / JDK JR 1914 / CM circle / Hilda

Height: 17 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Original plaster pate black wig, brown glass eyes, open mouth with two teeth and tongue

Clothes: Wears antique costume

Other: Several different versions of Kestner’s Hilda were made using different head molds and bodies.This Hilda has straight toddler legs. Other Hilda dolls have bent baby legs. As with other antique dolls, reproductions exist.

“Johann Daniel Kestner Jr. (JDK) of Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany began making papier mache and wood dolls and toys as early as 1816.  Kestner eventually went on to employ nearly three quarters of the inhabitants of the Waltershausen region which earned him the nickname ‘King Kestner’.

“In 1858 J.D. Kestner passed away and his grandson Adolf eventually took over the running of the company, around 1860 Kestner produced wax over papier mache doll heads, by 1860 they acquired the Ohrdruf porcelain factory and began to produce the bisque dolls known by collectors today.” (Doll Reference)

Gallery (Images and description courtesy of and Dan Morphy Auctions.)


“JDK, Kestner Dolls 1820-1938 German, Kestner King of Doll Makers.”
JDK, Kestner Dolls 1820-1938 German, Kestner King of Doll Makers.


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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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