1997 Albert Schoenhut – Classic American Dolls
- Pictures two wooden dolls created by Albert Schoenhut.
- Part of the Classic American Dolls set – the first time photographs were used instead of paintings or drawings for a large US set with different stamp designs
Classic American Dolls
32¢, First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:
July 28, 1997
First Day City:
Printed for Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. by Sterling Sommer of Tonawanda, New York
Panes of 15 (Vertical, 5 across, 3 down)
10.9 by 11.1
Large tagging block over all 20 stamps, covering the stamps to the edges
Why the stamp was issued:
To commemorate the wooden dolls of Albert Schoenhut. He patented the “All Wood Perfection Art Doll” on January 17, 1911. The doll includes joints with metal springs, allowing it to hold a variety of poses and be “virtually unbreakable.”
About the stamp design:
The stamp pictures a photograph of the doll against a blue paper background.
First Day City:
The First Day of Issue Ceremony was held during the annual membership meeting of the United Federation of Doll Clubs at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers Hotel in Anaheim, California.
About the Classic American Dolls set:
The USPS issued the stamps to commemorate American dolls that “reflect the tradition, heritage, culture, and artistic style from various geographical regions of this country.”
Each stamp design pictures a photograph by Sally Andersen-Bruce. Each doll or pair of dolls is shown in front of a blue paper background, tying the stamp designs together. The names of each doll are printed in small type below the bottom frameline of each stamp, across from the 1997 year date. They’re also listed in the horizontal selvage at the bottom of the pane of 15.
The set marked the first time photographs were used instead of paintings or drawings for a large US set with different stamp designs.
History the stamp represents:
In 1911, Albert Schoenhut, a German-born Philadelphia toymaker, patented his “All-Wood Perfection Art Doll.” Made entirely of wood and fully jointed with steel springs, the dolls could hold virtually any lifelike pose. In 1919, he introduced the “walkable” doll which featured legs that swung from the hip in a walking motion. A. Schoenhut & Company was also one of the many companies to produce interchangeable heads and bodies – a practice which greatly increased the variety of its dolls.
Often promoted for their realism, Schoenhut’s dolls were well-known for their expressive features. In fact, one advertisement claimed tha thte doll’s head was “artistically modeled in real character style, more natural and lifelike than anything ever attempted.” Most of the dolls represented babies or children, and were commonly produced with Germanic features which reflected the heritage of their maker.
The photo on the front features a fully dressed Schoenhut girl along with a cross section sample which was generally displayed in stores or used by traveling salesmen. The carved bonnet doll featured on the stamp is one of the earliest Schoenhut dolls and is much rarer than other models.