We now know that Aristide M. Halopeau is the maker of the doll incised with the block H and size number. Heads are extremely scarce, are exceptionally beautiful, and both heads and bodies are the highest quality. These dolls are a collector’s dream.
We have tracked down the sizes known to collector’s.
Size 0 = 16”
Size 1 = 18”
Size 2 = 20”
Size 3 = 22”
Size 4 = 24”
Size 5 = 27”
There may be larger sizes, but it is doubtful there is a size below 0.
Markings on the heads are located in the same place on each head and done with the same block letters. Sometimes the mark is lightly impressed, and other times it is impressed deeply. The size number comes first followed by the letter H.
The doll making company was in existence before 1890 because all the heads are pressed, not poured porcelain. After 1890 almost all doll-making companies poured porcelain into molds. The quality bisque, the fine paperweight eyes and the beautiful craftsmanship of wood bodies indicate these were at the height of doll-making era. Halopeau could not compete with the other French Firms and in 1889, his business collapsed. The company’s short existence explains the limited supply of H dolls that are in circulation today.
Identifying H-Dolls: The face of an H doll is rather square. Eyes are paperweight sometimes with threading. The H and the number are incised just under the rim of the head.
Illustration 12: The H-dolls are of the highest quality and the H1 is a fine example of Halopeau’s fabulous work. Her brows have a light brown shadow brow with lighter feathering on top. The charcoal lashes are finely painted, the eye cuts are black rimmed inside and her eyes are glass blue paperweight. The accented mouth is shaded and the perfect bisque is blushed low on the cheeks with a little on the chin. A light mauve shadows only the eyelids. This rare doll was made in the 1880’s.
Illustration 13: 22” 3H – She is perfection plus. Her dramatically large blue eyes will captivate any audience. Her lids are blushed with mauve and her finely painted eyelashes come from a black lined eye cuts. Her soft, two-toned eyebrows are very finely feathered and the mouth is well sculpted and painted. The lips are accented with a darker tone and a white space in between. Her chin and cheeks are blushed to perfection. This doll was sold at a Theriault’s auction on Jan. 6, 1990 for a record-breaking $100,000; at that time, the highest auction price ever paid for a doll in the United States.
Illustration 14: 24” 4H – Her eyebrows have a darker shadow brown and an overlay of fine, lighter brown brow strokes. The eye cuts are lined in black and charcoal gray eyelashes encircle the deep dark blue paperweight eyes. Her accented lips have a somewhat darker color between them. There is a light mauve shadow form the eyes to the eyebrows.
Illustration 15: 27” 5H – She is beauty personified! Her cheeks were blushed on the outside plumpness and there is only a little blush on her chin. Mauve was blushed above her deep blue paperweight eyes. The eye cuts are lined in black and encircled with black eyelashes. The mouth is molded with slightly parted lips and were finely painted and accented. The brows are a darker shadow brow overlaid with many lighter strokes.