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Collecting Vintage and Antique Porcelain Dolls

Antique and vintage porcelain dolls are a unique and welcome find at local estate sales. And because these dolls, especially dolls made before the 1930s, are becoming harder to find if you have one, it might be valuable.

So, whether you’re looking to start a doll collection, or you already have a few that you proudly display, here is what you need to know about collecting these dolls.

Know How to Identify Your Doll

Makers usually marked these dolls on the back of the neck. This is a good place for collectors and owners to start when wanting to learn more about the doll.

The lettering may seem odd, but a quick search will help begin to make sense of what you have. We like this reference guide. It is comprehensive and thorough.

Identifying an unmarked doll can be a sign that you have become well-versed in doll collecting. To learn how to do this takes time, but you will eventually be able to identify the hallmarks of various doll makers.

Ensure Quality

When looking to buy, take some time to make sure the doll’s features are as they should be. Check the eyes and teeth to make sure they are intact and look to see that the doll’s “skin” looks smooth and that the doll’s coloring looks lifelike.

A key element to a high-quality doll is original clothing and hair. This will take some research to see what the doll originally wore, but it is an important detail that will make all the difference.

Determine Value

So how then, can you determine the value of your doll. As with most antiques and collectibles, the answer will always be, “it depends.” It depends on many factors, especially the doll’s condition. If has been store in an attic or garage, and critical details, like clothing, have been damaged or destroyed, it will negatively impact the value.

With that, the website, The Spruce Crafts has created a spectacular vintage doll pricing guide. Check it out here.

Protect Your Collection

Whether you’re an avid or beginning collector, it is crucial you learn how to protect your collection. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep you doll away from natural and fluorescent light. It can alter the color of the doll as well as clothing.

  • Store your doll in a closed cabinet and keep the dust at bay. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t want to store your doll in an air-tight plastic container, as any moisture present may cause mold to develop.

  • Store it inside and avoid temperature extremes. We know you have storage in your garage or attic but keep your dolls inside.

Antique and vintage dolls are wonderful to collect, and if you are looking to add to your collection, check out our upcoming estate sales. You never know what you might find.


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