In the past few weeks I have become more and more interested in the 18″ Gotz (Goetz) dolls thanks to some of Diana’s great finds and the addition of Tess to my collection. Between Diana,  Maxine of My Doll Best Friend, Madelon, Ava and myself, we have some serious Gotz goodness to share with you today.

Before we get started, Gotz is one the most famous doll makers in the world and were the first to take artist doll sculpts and mass produce them. They were also the makers of some of the first American Girl dolls.  In the US you can currently get Gotz dolls in Pottery Barn Kids and in some Toys R Us stores packaged as FAO 18″ Classic dolls. The company Haba will also be distributing Gotz dolls in the US this year, but which stores, I do not know yet. In Europe, Gotz has quite a few different lines – Classic Kidz, Hannah, Happy Kidz, and Precious Day (check My Doll Best Friend, My Doll Boutique and Petalina for details) and are quite popular.

Ready?  Well, first go read Gotz Rare Dolls and Valuable Friendships to get more insight in to how some of our recent Gotz activities have gotten started and the connection between Diana, Maxine and myself.

Let’s start with some fun finds and rescues from Diana!

Way before I started adopting American Girl Dolls, I had fallen in love with the doll manufacturer Gotz, this was many, many years ago.  The Gotz dolls were always my dream, to same day have as part of my doll world, they were way outside of my price range.  In particular there were three dolls that I really wanted to own, they were called “Little Sisters“.  A couple of years ago when I discovered eBay I found my first “Little Sisters”  which was Tess.  She needed a lot of TLC and I restored her.  Last year I came across Lily when I discovered Goodwill online and she needed a lot of TLC, I restored her as well.  Last week my dream was finally completed, I found Katie.  Now Katie is hard to find and most of the time is out of my price range, but this Katie was well hidden.  So my dream is completed with patience and TLC, I was able to have my Little Sisters Collection.

Gotz Little Sisters Katie

What was listed in eBay – won bid including shipping less then $90. (the horse is Felicity’s filly)

Katie as she arrived in the box

Katie after Diana’s Doll Hospital visit (outfit from Harmony Club Dolls)

Gotz Little Sisters Collection

And now a “diary” entry from Diana that gives you some insight on this next gorgeous girl! 

“Dear Diary- My name is Franja (Francis in English), I was created in 2003 in Germany by a lady named Hildegard Gunzel and a company named Gotz.  I speak three languages: German, English and Spanish. It was not long before I was created that my journey started and I was sent to the United States (Idaho), where I learned to speak English.  A lovely lady named Marilyn kept me busy modeling her outfits.  Marilyn has a very special talent, she knows how to smock beautiful outfits. Last week Marilyn created a purple outfit that made my eyes glow and she decide to place the outfit on eBay, I kinda over heard her conversation.  So my picture was put on this site called eBay, then things changed very quickly.  Marilyn got a phone call and I heard her say I was being sent to a place called Atlanta, Georgia.  I just could not believe it, I get to travel once again!   Just before I left, Marilyn selected a beautiful 2 piece outfit and told me, I was going to love my new home and the outfit was a gift to my new owner and a special remembrance of where I had lived.  So off to Atlanta I went, and as soon as I arrived, I got bathed and my hair was styled.  Oh how much love I have already received   I know I will enjoy my new home, because today I was introduced to my cousins, who like me have made their travels and journey into this new home. Dear diary here are some pictures to share. –Franja”

Franja in her outfit from Germany and then in the beautiful smocked outfit made by Marilyn.

Franja in her new home upon leaving Diana’s Doll Hospital.  She has the two piece outfit made by Marilyn, a gift to Diana.

Close up of Franja – Isn’t she just so sweet?

An even better look at those AMAZING eyes and the incredible detail in the smocking on her dress.

Franja with her cousins; Hannah on the left and Sarah on the right.

And the Gotz education continues! 

In search for my redhead (read Maxine’s post for the photo), I dropped into the Doll store that is very close to me.  She has a section for Gotz, the originals from Germany.  She knew Marianne Gotz, in fact Marianne has been in her store, that is how old this doll store has been in business.   Well I did not find my redhead, but I did find my little girl.  As you know my birthday was this week, so this doll will be a present from my family to me.  Yes I get to select my present…;-)

Her name is Florentine, she is 23″ tall, and looks like a real little girl.  She was created by Hildegard Gunzel for Gotz in 2003, she is very rare and she is numbered #38 out of 440 pieces.  I could not resist to put her in an outfit I made so here she is to enjoy:

Florentine as she arrived

Florentine dressed in an outfit made by Diana, including jewelry.

Close up to enjoy

A treat for the Doll Diaries fans!

Now Madelon has a Gotz find of her own this week, too!

Years ago Madelon found this Gotz doll at the discount store Tuesday Morning for $29.99. She is labeled “Collectible Doll Designed by Hildegard Gunzel.”  After seeing my Tess earlier in the week, Madelon went back and took a closer look at this cutie.

Madelon is curious to find out who this doll is. This is the tag she had – I’m sure one of our readers will know who she is!

You can see the resemblance to the other Hildegard Gunzel Gotz dolls in the sculpt of the face.

Sweet little shoes, too. So if you know who this cutie is, let us know!

And one of our European readers, Ava, also added a Gotz doll to her family this week:

This is a Gotz Just Like Me 11″ doll with rooted hair. Ava named her Julia – her outfit is nice quality, and yes she does have underwear. The dress has Velcro in the back and the shoes slip on and off. She has a very sweet face with grey sleep eyes and blushed cheeks.

This is Julia compared to an American girl doll. She makes for a 3-5 year old little sister to them.  So overall Julia is a very nice doll. I got her at a discounted price so she has some defects (shiny marks here and there) but it doesn’t take away from her cuteness. I would give her a 9 out of ten and would recommend her for ages 6 and up, because of her small size (30 cms) she makes a very nice play doll. 

Julia looks to be about the same size – or maybe a bit smaller – as Corolle Les Cheries dolls. 

And another look at MY Tess…

My FAO Tess wearing an outfit I bought last year at Toys R Us that was labeled as an FAO 18″ Classic outfit. I didn’t have a Gotz doll at the time, but wanted to see what brands it would fit. All of our 18″ slim body dolls (Journey Girls, Carpatina, Kidz n Cats) can wear it and now it is on the doll it was created for.

And our final look of the day at this super sweet face created by Hildegard Gunzel for Gotz.

I hope you got your dolly education today and learned something new! Whether these dolls are ones you want in your collection or not, it is always fun to learn the history and interesting facts about various doll lines through out history and today.