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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See Antique Doll Collection at Orchard Lake Museum Dec. 8Patch.com, December 7th
See Antique Doll Collection at Orchard Lake Museum Dec. 8. The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society opens the museum on the second Sunday of every month. Posted by Joni Hubred-Golden (Editor) , December 07, 2013 at 04:30 AM. Comment ...Read more
“Magnolias And Mistletoe Celebration”Hillsboro Reporter, December 5th
Library, Heritage Museum, Tris Speaker Sports Museum and Hubbard High School Sports Museum, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During this time, visitors will also be able to view the world-class Berta Leon Hackney Antique Doll Exhibit...Read more
Falkirk kids get into Book WeekFalkirk Herald, December 4th
Other events this week include antique doll collector Margaret Brodie's talk on 'Treasures In The Attic' at Grangemouth Library at 2.15 p.m. today (Thursday). For more information visit www.bookweekscotland.com or follow @BookWeekScot on Twitter...Read more
Abilities Plus plans Christmas open house SundayKewanee Star Courier, December 3rd
Vintage doll and stand. Winners need not be present to win. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Winners will be drawn at the end of the event. In addition, volunteers from the Abilities Plus Resale Shop have gathered items throughout the year and will...Read more
Holiday events 2013: House tours around NJ offer decoration inspirationThe Star-Ledger - NJ.com, November 28th
7) and a vintage doll house display. The all-inclusive tickets, good on both days, are $25 in advance, $30 on tour day, and may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 45 Pilgrim Pathway. For details, call (732) 774-1391 or visit OceanGroveNJ.com. Dec...Read more
Auction a fun but dangerous experienceWilliston Daily Herald, November 23rd
At the end of the day — 10 hours worth — we went home with three crocks, two glass heads, the 10-gallon jar, an antique doll, some costume jewelry, a jeweled chair, vintage sewing cabinet and a sea shell I bought for my daughter for $1. I wrote a...Read more
Buyers claim dolls at auctionClinton Herald, November 15th
Mrs. Beasley, in original box, claimed a $220 bid and some vintage doll clothes totaled up to $52 for one group and $87 for the other group. A match book collection lit a fire at $80. A Fisher Price hospital toy climbed quickly to $70 and will make...Read more
Printed Books Are Alive and Sometimes WeirdNew York Times, November 15th
Another work, “Things Girls Like to Do” by Tamar Stone, features an antique doll bed covered in a vintage lace-trimmed cotton comforter that has a “bedmaking song” embroidered on it. A pillow and other layers of the coverlet are also filled with words...Read more