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Piano Baby by Gerbruder Heubach

Popular decorative doll from the late 1800s

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Piano babies were created to decorate pianos. Most popular in the late 1880s to 1890s, they were still made into the early 1900sa
Piano Baby by Heubach

Piano Baby by Heubach

(c) Denise Van Patten
Piano Babies were oddly popular in the late 1800s as decorations for pianos. I say oddly, because what, really does a chubby bisque baby have to do with pianos or music? In any event, these sweet chubby babies, clothed or unclothed, were made of bisque, and sat on the end of the piano as decoration and to hold down the fabric usually found decorating grand pianos in homes. Piano Babies ranged in size from about 4 inches to 12 inches long, were generally unojinted (some say that puts them more in the realm of figurines than dolls), and made by German dollmaking firms such as Gebruder Heubach and also Carl Schneider.

  • Value: $200
  • Size: 6" tall
  • Date of Production: late 1880s
  • Marks: Heubach mark on bottom

Characteristics of Doll

This particular Piano Baby is unclothed, although many Piano Babies have beautifully modeled clothing (modeled in bisque and painted) and also baby bonnets. Hair is also modeled and painted. The Piano Baby shown is unjointed, as is generally expected.

Market Report

Piano Babies vary greatly in value, from as low as $100 to $200 for smaller, more common examples, up to as much as $600 for larger, rare marked examples. Piano Babies have held their value relatively well of late. Be careful when collecting Piano Babies as many reproductions from the later 20th Century exist, as well as models made in Japan in the 1950s.

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