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      Harleybluesoftail recently asked about her head nodders:

      I recently aquired two head nodders. One is a male and one a female. As I was researching the history I found some information on your forum. The Juggler pictured in your forum is a duplicate of the male. I wondered if you knew anything about the female. She also has balls in her hands.

      This is the nodder in the ABA Library to which Harleybluesoftail is referring:

      I called upon Chad Lavely, who gave a very informative presentation on nodders at the ABA Convention in June, for help with this question. Chad responded:


      Here is what I have to offer:

      The Juggler nodder pictured on the ABA website is a piece made after WWII and was made for/by Lenwile China, and inexpensive importer sold through “Value” department stores and should bare an “Ardalt” mark, and is a product of Japan. This bisque piece is newer and was molded after earlier piece by the German Factories. This Ardalt Juggler is most common, Followed by the Conta & Boehme Juggler, in porcelain or bisque and an unidentified piece found in glazed porcelain only.

      The Male Ardalt piece is a juggler while the female mate is beating a drum. The male juggler also has the balls mounted directly to the hands.

      The older Conta & Boehme pieces have the balls mounted to the hand via a thin stick which gives an illusion that the balls are suspended or being juggled. With the Conta & Boehme pair are both Jugglers.

      I would need a picture of the pair in question to properly identify them.

      As to the origin or story behind them. I would say that it was very common for nodders to be molded as Asian yet with European looks as they we mostly made during the Victorian times , for the European and American markets when the Orient was opening up and all things “Oriental” were in fashion. And a juggler would have been a popular form of entertainment during the period as well.

      Chad sent these photos:

      Harleybluesoftail sent these pictures of her lucky finds:

      If you can add any information about these nodders, please do so!

      Admin (Carolyn)

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