Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/02/2014

Photo taken on October 14, 2013

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Berkeley Springs
Johnny Mercer
Fairfax Street
Berkeley Springs Antique Mall
Ernst Heubach
Heubach dolls
bisque doll
piano babies
West Virginia
Bing Crosby
Bobby Darin
still life
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
porcelain doll
United States

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Photo replaced on September  2, 2014
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You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby – Fairfax Street, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby – Fairfax Street, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Most well-decorated Victorian parlors of the late 1800s and early 1900s had pianos draped with shawls. Something decorative was needed to hold those fabrics in place. From that necessity, piano babies were born. During the early 1900s, miniature piano babies were made to sit on children’s toy pianos. Many of these diminutive, 2- to 3-inch bisque figurines that did manage to survive children’s play, were eventually lost. Those remaining, and in good condition, are highly desirable. These figures, mostly produced in Germany, were made of unglazed bisque. Factories were already established as makers of fine bisque dolls, so it wasn’t difficult for them to expand their market by creating piano babies.

Ernst Heubach’s porcelain factory was in Koppelsdorf, Germany. Many experts hold that of all the many companies manufacturing bisque during the Victorian period, Heubach's prodycts ares by far the best for quality. They are known for their pink-tinted bisque. They are also recognized for their exquisite detail, both in molding and in painting. These rosy-cheeked infants show remarkable facial expressions, whether pouting or smiling. Many have dimples. Often their mouths are parted just enough to reward you with a peek at a couple of baby teeth. Eyes of Heubach dolls are intaglio and by being impressed, are more realistic. The Heubach’s incredibly sculpted hair, usually painted blond, is curly or in a top knot. Often wisps appear from under highly detailed bonnets or caps. Their heads are at interesting angles, as if turning to entertain you with antics.

"You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" is a popular song with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, published in 1938. It was featured in the movie Hard to Get, released November 1938, where it was sung by Dick Powell. Originally, the song was recorded by Bing Crosby for the biggest-selling hit version, while other contemporaneous hit versions included recordings by Tommy Dorsey (with vocal by Edythe Wright) and Russ Morgan. It was also revived by Bobby Darin in 1961, reaching the charts again that year. The song has been recorded by many other artists and is considered a popular standard.

Gooner67 has particularly liked this photo

Simply beautiful!
Lovely collection!
Beautiful capture!
Great picture!
4 years ago.
Excellent 'levitation' effect with the glass shelf being invisible, a perfect angle.
4 years ago.