Over the last few months I had the privilege to work on a beautiful and rare carved hair Schoenhut boy, and a S&H bisque head beauty. Both belonged to the same customer. The S&H was in the typical state of most 19th century ball joint dolls, with missing plaster, paint, damage to the joints and missing digits (or a hand in this case). I obtained a new hand from Great Britain and then did the repairs. You can see the transformation below.
The client wanted only the face of the Schoenhut restored. Due to this, I left his clothing on and covered the jacket and shirt as I worked. I used a reference I found of the original look of the doll and matched it. You can see the final result in the last photo where the two are compared.
The first three photos are of the doll as he came to me.
The restoration process begins with a filler.
The filler is carefully sanded (and I do mean CAREFULLY).
Once the filler is fixed, the first layer of paint is added. Note that I left all of the original features untouched.
The next layer of paint is added, mostly to heighten the skin tone, and original features are defined where needed.
The features are finished and a coating of wax/fixative is added. These dolls had a slight sheen, so that is what I imitated.
The completed doll compared to a photo of the original as issued in the early 20th century.
This one was a joy to work on. What a gorgeous doll!