Rare "Edison Phonograph Doll" with Original Bisque Head, 719, by Simon and Halbig

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23" (58 cm.) Bisque socket head, brown glass eyes, dark eyeliner, painted curly lashes, brush- stroked brows, accented nostrils and eye corners, open mouth, outlined lips, four porcelain teeth, pierced ears, brunette mohair wig (additional wig included), original Sonneberg wooden and composition jointed limbs, bisque lower arms and hands, metal torso with sound holes at front and containing Edison phonograph (see photo detail). Condition: generally excellent, mechanism is complete, wax cylinder not included. Marks: S 2 H 719 Dep st. Comments: Thomas Edison introduced his model of a "Talking Doll" in 1890, based upon the mechanical system of his table top phonographs, and utilizing bisque heads and body parts from Germany; the doll was sold in luxury stores such as Schwarz' Toy Bazaar, whose advertising noted that the doll "recited in a childish voice one of a number of well-known nursery rhymes" utilizing a wax cylinder placed in the mechanism. The doll never reached the popularity of the somewhat similar Loiret phonograph doll of France which was marketed by Jumeau; less than 500 of the completed Edison dolls were ever sold. Value Points: extremely rare doll, virtually never found with intact mechanism, is enhanced by all original parts and has beautiful face.
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