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

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'Annabelle' Movie Release Date, Plot Spoilers: Spin-Off of 'The Conjuring ...
BREATHEcast, August 29th

John Form, the patriarch of the family finds a gift for his lovely wife Mia Form, a rare and vintage doll dressed in a pure white wedding dress. While the doll initially brings joy and happiness to Mia, things quickly take a turn for the worse, as...Read more

Care, communication key to deciding on keepsakes when loved one dies
Florida Today, August 29th

And without preparation, families can wind up fighting over subjectively valuable items that might range from an eclectic art collection to chipped dishware to a vintage doll with one eye but sentimental appeal. Increasingly, the topic of avoiding...Read more

Delightful Dolls Show and Sale
San Diego CityBEAT, August 29th

Delightful Dolls of Southern California is having its 35th annual doll show & sale with everything from modern dolls to teddy bears to vintage doll clothing to beautiful antique dolls. Where: Al Bahr Shrine Center Phone: 619-265-0443. Address: 5440...Read more

'Annabelle' Gets Full Trailer, Movie To Be Released in October
Christian Post, August 28th

The doll was introduced in last year's "The Conjuring," and now fans of the horror flick will know the back story of the evil plaything. "John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white...Read more

Mary Lou Logan, 89
Wilton Bulletin, August 26th

Mary Lou, also known as The Doll Lady of Wilton, was an avid antique doll collector, a registered antique doll dealer, and the Doll and Toy Curator of the Wilton Historical Society. She had a passion for the history behind the dolls, the sculptors who...Read more

Annabelle Movie News, Trailer, Release Date, and Updates New Official Trailer ...
Hallels, August 26th

In light of the event, John Form bought his wife a rare and vintage doll dressed in a white wedding dress. One night however, their house was attacked by members of a satanic cult. Blood is spilled that night and the cultist left the doll named...Read more

Sydney's 101-year-old Doll Hospital
Baltimore Sun (blog), August 25th

(Reuters) – Making customers cry may not be most shopkeeper's goal, but at Sydney's 101-year-old Doll Hospital workers take tears as a sign of a job well done. A damaged doll is pictured on a workbench after having its head re-attached by 25-year...Read more

'​Finding Fanny' cast says, 'Shake that Bootiya'
Times of India, August 22nd

The song has a hilarious touch to it with whacky dance steps. The backdrop of the song is a vintage doll house with the characters dancing there with bright faces. WATCH: Shake Your Bootiya - Finding Fanny ...Read more