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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Antique doll collection on display at GLHSMCincinnati.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
MTC's 'Buyer and Cellar'The Saturday Paper (subscription), November 27th
So here we have the story of how he gets the gig and how Streisand comes to buy an antique doll from him and how they haggle over the price. We see him serve her frozen yoghurt – or see him recollect doing so – and we see him argue with his boyfriend ...Read more
2015 NJ holiday house tours offer ideas to stealNJ.com, November 23rd
The seaside town will have a number of attractions for the weekend, including a display of vintage doll houses, a holiday boutique and horse and buggy rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be guided tours of the Great Auditorium, which will be...Read more
'Annabelle' 2: The Entity-Possed Vintage Doll Confimed to Return for A SequelRealty Today, October 20th
The story, which is said to be loosely based on a true story, revolves around a possessed vintage doll named "Annabelle," which ultimately ended up the hands of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. That is why "Annabelle" was featured in a ...Read more
Antique doll collectors hold show tomorrowThe 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
Fila x Vintage Doll RisaMixmag, October 2nd
Tomboy style blogger Risa has teamed up with Fila to give us a preview of the highly anticipated SS16 collection. This season the brand returns to its roots, paying homage to urban consumers of the 1980s when the likes of Puff Daddy, 2Pac and TLC...Read more
Antique doll set stolen from storage unitBismarck Tribune, September 21st
An antique Barbie doll set, with an estimated $20,000 value, was stolen from a storage unit over the weekend, according to Bismarck police. The theft was reported to police at 2:52 p.m. Sunday and occurred sometime after midnight on Friday, Bismarck...Read more
First London International Antique Doll Teddy Bear and Toy Fair heads to OlympiaToy News, August 12th
Antiques Roadshow's Bunny Campione will open the inaugral event celebrating 200 years of childhood and taking place in November 2016. Collections of rare antique dolls, teddy bears and toys will be heading to London Olympia as part of a new exhibition ...Read more