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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'Haunted House 2's' Marlon Wayans is seriously funny
Eagle-Tribune, April 19th

This 2013 spoof may focus on the ghost that follows a girl when she moves in with her boyfriend (Marlon), but he has an impromptu love scene with stuffed animals. He had so much fun that in the sequel, he has a full-blown relationship with a vintage doll...Read more

A senior moment: Leaving home: making the transition to a care facility has ...
Enterprise-Record, April 18th

Bennett is surrounded by her antique doll collection. The Pippens' rooms feature Eldon's handcrafted furniture and model tugboat and Kitty's watercolors, cross stitch and quilts. All found it difficult to downsize. The Pippens advise to "do it now...Read more

Reviews: 'A Haunted House 2,' 'Bears,' 'Watermark,' 'Finding Vivian Maier ...
San Jose Mercury News, April 17th

Wayans repeatedly is hypnotized by a chalk-faced, creepy-eyed antique doll whose erotic magic sends him into a mating frenzy, typically when his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) or her kids approach the bedroom door. The star's gymnastic, flesh-baring ...Read more

Review: 'A Haunted House 2' is silly, gross, dumb
The Detroit News, April 17th

Wayans is repeatedly hypnotized by a chalk-faced, creepy-eyed antique doll whose erotic magic sends him into a mating frenzy, typically when Pressly or her kids are approaching the bedroom door. The star's gymnastic, flesh-baring humping and randy ...Read more

Auctioned antique doll breaks world record
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), April 6th

An old figurine that was recently sold at auction has surpassed all previous records for sales of that type. The auction was held at Theriault's in Naples, Florida, which specialises in childhood antiques. The French doll was made by Albert Marque in...Read more

Annapolis auction house makes record sale for antique doll, April 3rd

A doll that sold at a Theriault's auction this past weekend in Naples, Fla., for $304,000, including the buyer's premium. It broke the previous record, set in 2009 for $263,000, for a doll sold at auction. Both were created in 1916 by Albert Marque and...Read more

Antique Doll Fetches Record $300K
ArtfixDaily, March 31st

Antique Doll Fetches Record $300K. 31 March 2014 - by ArtfixDaily Staff. The 1916 doll made by sculptor Albert Marque, sold for $300,000, a new world auction record. (Theriault's). Tweet. A much sought-after doll brought a world record price of $300...Read more

Antique doll sells for record $300K
Washington Business Journal, March 31st

Antique doll sells for record $300K. DOLL. Enlarge Photo. PRNewsFoto/Theriault's. The antique doll, made by sculptor Albert Marque, sold for $300,000, a new world auction record. Jeff Clabaugh: Broadcast/Web Reporter- Washington Business Journal ...Read more