People have made dolls for thousands of years for use as religious objects, toys, and holiday displays. Many traditional dolls, like the Japanese Kokeshi, are still highly desirable today. Many early American dolls were made of rags, or cloth, and are a reminder of the simple life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the 19th century, French and German dolls were the most popular and innovative dolls in the western world. In the early 1850s, the Bebe doll appeared in France, starting the custom of making dolls in the form of infants and young children (as opposed to adults). The Germans caught on, and soon both countries were producing porcelain-headed dolls.

Late in the 1800s, the French started making dolls with unglazed heads, and the unglazed colored clay more accurately represented a human skin tone. These dolls became known as bisque dolls, and they remain a staple of doll-making.

Shortly thereafter, German doll makers started experimenting with celluloid, a lighter-weight and less breakable material. Celluloid dolls were popular for a number of years, despite the fact that the material was flammable. Dolls in Europe, Japan, and America made of celluloid, such as the famous Kewpie doll, were eventually replaced by dolls made of plastic, or composition dolls, made of a mix of materials including glue and sawdust.

The early 20th century saw the launch of a number of famous doll-making companies, such as Ideal, which became known among other things for its best-selling Shirley Temple dolls. Another was Vogue, which produced the Ginny doll, and of course Mattel, which launched its blockbuster Barbie line in the late 1950s.

Though most antique dolls started out as toys, some dolls have been sought by collectors from the beginning. A good example is the Simpich Doll Company, which produced small numbers of limited edition Christmas and Americana-themed dolls for over 50 years.


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Recent News: Dolls

Source: Google News

Main Street Medina hosts the Medina Ice Festival; Famicos Foundation presents ...
cleveland.com, February 11th

29230 Wolf Road. Bay Village Women's Club 47th annual Antiques Show and Fundraiser with Vintage Doll Display. Free appraisal on one piece of jewelry 1-3 p.m. Saturday; one antique item 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Obtain a free numbered ticket at check-ion desk...Read more

Keeler Library In North Salem Exhibits Vintage Doll Clothing Collection
Daily Voice, February 10th

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- The North Salem Historical Society is displaying, a recently donated vintage doll clothes collection from Helen Hathaway Frisbie at the library. Francis Close Andrews created the collection over a century ago. The skirts, coats...Read more

Law Enforcement
Arkansas City Traveler, February 9th

a wood stock, gold engagement and wedding rings, a silver engagement ring, a bag of old coins, 4 silver dollars, 10 two dollar bills, prescription medicine heating pad, antique veterinarian kit in wood box, antique doll buggy and a Guess brand...Read more

Daily Record
Winfield Daily Courier Online, February 8th

Winchester with a wood stock, gold engagement and wedding rings, silver engagement ring, bag of old coins, four silver dollars, 10 $2 bills, prescription medicine heating pad, antique veterinarian kit in wood box, antique doll buggy and Guess brand...Read more

Unique antique: Doll collectors offer tips for storage, upkeep
Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era, February 5th

Unique antique: Doll collectors offer tips for storage, upkeep. By Meredith Willse, New Era staff writer; 12 hrs ago; 0. Unique antique: Doll collectors offer tips for storage, upkeep. photos by meredith willse | kentucky new era. Members of the...Read more

WEEKEND: Dolls, teddy bears on display Saturday
Peninsula Daily, February 5th

Smith said she does not work with antique doll hair, but there are some vendors at the show who can assist doll owners with repairing antique doll wigs. Lunch and beverages will be available at the show. ______. Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at ...Read more

Antique doll collection on display at GLHSM
Cincinnati.com, November 27th

Lola Joyce Hamblin treasured her dolls and created an extraordinary collection during her lifetime. Her collection of antique dolls is now on public display for the first time at the Greater Loveland Historical Society Museum in Loveland. Hamblin's...Read more

Antique doll collectors hold show tomorrow
The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 2nd

ESCONDIDO — Antique doll collectors from the Southwind Doll Club hold their annual show Oct. 3 in Escondido. The nonprofit club is part of the Federation of Dolls Clubs and donates to local charities and groups that help wounded warriors. Members of...Read more