Skinner

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Antique Dolls

Rare and beautiful antique dolls include French and German bisque and china head dolls, French fashion dolls, and early cloth, papier-mâché, and wooden dolls.

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Dolls inspire imagination and delight with their gorgeous outfits, facial expressions, and miniature accessories that give each doll a unique personality.

Well-loved by the children who played with them, early cloth and wooden dolls often appeal to those who collect folk art. The faces of Izannah Walker dolls, made during the 19th century in America, resemble American folk art portraiture.

In the 19th century, porcelain rose in popularity as a doll-making material. China head dolls are made with glazed porcelain, parian dolls have a matte finish, and bisque head dolls are unglazed. Bisque tends to more closely resemble real skin. French and German manufactures such as BruJumeauSteiner, Kestner, and Simon-Halbig made some of the most valued bisque head dolls. French “bebe” dolls were among the first to depict babies instead of children or adults, and can be very collectible today. Sought-after 20th century dolls include cloth dolls by Kathe Kruse and felt dolls by Lenci.

Many collectors prefer fine dolls made before 1920 that were intended for real play. Dolls that sell well at auction are rare, beautifully-made examples in immaculate condition with original wardrobes.

Skinner understands the importance of condition and provenance in the appraisal and auction of antique dolls and doll accessories. If you have an important doll or doll collection of high quality, a Skinner expert would be happy to discuss the appraisal and consignment process with you.

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