Antique Dolls

Antique Dolls can be very valuable depending on age, condition, brand and beauty. If you want to find the value of your antique or vintage doll collection please contact us. We buy Antique Dolls! If you would like to sell beautiful dolls that are in very good condition Contact Gannon's Antiques & Art!

History of Dolls in Brief

The first dolls were all home-made from whatever local materials were available. Many were made from wood or cloth. Later, they were manufactured from porcelain / bisque.  These dolls were very breakable and rather expensive.  Unlike today, many little girls had only one doll which was treasured for years and then passed down to another family member. Times were rough. The only mode of transportation was horse and wagon.  It is surprising any porcelain antique dolls survived until today! Later, composition dolls were manufactured. These play things were more durable but prone to cracking due to weather and temperature. Hard plastic dolls were the next evolution.  Then rubber dolls were invented.  They were as durable as the hard plastic and much more comfortable to hold.

Antique Dolls - Brands

Some of the most collectible French doll brands are Jumeau and Bru. They were know for their excellent quality and artistry.  The clothing was exceptional and tended to reflect the Paris fashion at the time.  Many accessories were also made for these dolls including hats, purses, shoes and even jewelry.  Jumeau started manufacturing dolls in the 1840s and Bru began in the 1860s.

Germany ruled the world of doll making in the late 1800s.  One very collectible brand is Kestner.  Kestner dolls were made in a variety of materials including porcelain, composition, and kid leather bodies. Another popular brand of antique German dolls is Armand Marseille which was known for making over 1000 porcelain heads a day!   Simon & Halbig and Kammer & Reinhardt dolls started the character doll market which focused on making dolls look like actural babies and less idealized.  Heubach continued in the character doll market and is known for their pouty faced antique dolls.

Tips: Identify & Value Antique Dolls

Tips to identify and value your antique doll.

Look on back of neck

type of construction

Number of joints


mouth open, teeth, sleep eyes

original hair and clothing