Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 26 Sep 2010 09:39 pm

A Buyer’s Guide to Antique Dolls

Dolls aren’t just for little girls! Antique dolls are highly collectible and, in these times of economic uncertainty, an antique doll can make a sound financial investment, not to mention bringing beauty and nostalgia to your home. There are several factors to be borne in mind when buying antique dolls. Let’s run through the most important.

1. Condition

Any damage could affect the value of the doll greatly, and your enjoyment of it too. Even if the damage isn’t obvious, you will know it is there and it will niggle away. It’s far better to pay more for damage free doll, than one who has obviously been through the wars! Naturally, antique dolls will show signs of age. Perhaps their clothing will have faded or yellowed a little (you must never try to clean it). Dolls showing physical damage however, such as cracks, chips, and breaks in bisque dolls, should be avoided. It is always better to purchase one pristine specimen, than two in poor condition.

2. Authenticity

Many manufacturers got into the habit of marking their dolls, either on the body, or on the back of the neck. A mark can be a good guide as to authenticity. Some dolls are also marked their year of production – even the name of the line of doll they came from. The serious collector may consider investing in a book so they may identify and value the dolls in their collection.

3. Scarcity

It often follows that the smaller the number produced, the more highly-prized the doll.

4. Age

With porcelain dolls, antique dolls tend to be of higher value than new examples, which can actually depreciate in value. Victorian bisque dolls are some of the most sought after.

5. Accessories

Antique dolls which come with their original hair and dressed in their original clothes, are always more valuable. If they come with original accessories, such as jewellery or hats, so much the better.

6. Detail

As far as antique doll collecting is concerned, the devil really is in the detail! Bisque dolls vary greatly in price depending on how the face is decorated. Closed mouthed specimens tend to be much more valuable.

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