Description: The 2003 set, a condiment set, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first flight of an airplane by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

  • The salt and pepper pilots were made from old German molds.
  • The airplane was modeled after an old sourvenir airplane. It has a decal that states “Carolina Shaker Flight 2003.”
  • The set was produced in a quality factory in China with guidance provided by Susan Bickert.

Shaker Manufacturer: German Doll Company (Susan Bickert)
Number Manufactured: 400
Convention Theme: Carolina Shaker Flight
Convention Location: Greensboro, NC
Hosts: Southeastern Chapter
Original Price: $39

September, 2003 Club Newsletter:

The German Doll Company – The Convention Shaker Story

The German Doll Company is the maker of the 2003 Club convention set. In 1996, Susan Bickert of Ohio, now company president, visited Germany with her two daughters. Little did she know when she planned the trip what it would lead to. Stopping in an antique shop, she met Roland, the owner. One discussion led to another and another, and finally the German Doll Company evolved.

During the heyday of the German porcelain making industry in 1900, the area of the Thuringian Wald, in the former East Germany, had as many as 200 factories producing dolls and other items for export, including figurines, salt and pepper shakers, egg timers, mustard pots, etc. Seconds were usually disposed of by dumping them behind the factory or using them as filler beneath the floorboards, an inexpensive substitute for insulation. Along with the huge number of items being turned out every day, came an equally large number of plaster molds. At the most, each mold could be used for 15 pours, as the features of each piece become less crisp with each pouring. Instead of disposing of thousands of molds per week, molds were often mortared into interior and exterior walls of the factories, or given to the poor factory workers who used them to build chicken houses, barns or homes – again, an inexpensive substitute for building materials.

Uncovering these turn of the century porcelains is the most wonderful treasure hunt one can imagine! As these factories are now being razed or found sitting idle after years of neglect, floorboards were ripped up to expose bucketfuls of century-old porcelain. Digging in old dumping grounds yields handfuls of broken parts or an occasional compete piece. Today only a few of these factories remain standing. Most have been torn down since the reunification of Germany to make way for various businesses.

Through knowledge of the region’s history and countless searches, many of these early molds have been found. The German Doll Company is once again producing quality porcelain, poured in original molds, which have been carefully reworked by trained artisans. Once again the beauty and quality of Germany porcelain is available for people to enjoy in what is sure to be the antique of tomorrow.

While our convention set was not made in Germany, as a production run of 400 sets is too costly, the set was made entirely from old German molds. The set was produced in a quality factory in China with guidance provided by Susan Bickert, now a member of our Club.