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Miniature Dollhouse People

Small-scale dolls suitable for dollhouses began to be mass produced in the 1800s. These dolls were not usually advertised as dollhouse dolls, but were instead shown in catalogs as china babies or bisque babies. Usually, dolls 6 inches tall or shorter were used for dollhouses. Earlier dolls had china or bisque heads, hands, and feet with cloth bodies. Toward the end of the 1800s, small dolls made entirely of bisque or china, some with jointed shoulders and hips, were popular and affordable.

Dollhouse doll materials changed along with larger-sized dolls beginning in the '20s. Dollhouse dolls began to be made with composition and celluloid. Some dollhouse people were made with composition heads and bendable wire bodies that were wrapped in thread or fabric. The Canzler & Hoffman doll company of Germany began to make flexible dollhouse people around 1930. These dolls had composition heads, metal hands and shoes, molded hair, and flexible bodies wrapped in flesh-colored thread. Called Caco dolls, these dolls are still produced today.

Celluloid became a popular material for dollhouse dolls in the '20s and '30s. The use of celluloid for doll manufacture was outlawed in 1940, however, as the material was highly flammable. When hard plastic and vinyl became available, many dollhouse dolls were manufactured using these materials.

Quick Facts

  • One style of miniature doll produced in the 1800s was the frozen Charlotte doll. These dolls were made entirely of bisque or china and had no moving parts, hence the name
  • The Louis Marx company made a line of plastic jointed dollhouse people to go with their line of Marx dollhouses
  • The Multiple Products Corp of Bronx, New York, abbreviated MPC, manufactured many plastic dollhouse furnishings and dollhouse people in the '60s

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