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Porcelain Dolls

Porcelain dolls became popular as children's toys in the mid-1800s. The first porcelain dolls were made of china, which is porcelain that has been glazed to have a shiny look. China was used to make doll heads, hands, and feet beginning about 1840. Around 1860, German dollmakers began making doll heads out of unglazed porcelain. This style of porcelain, called bisque, gave dolls a matte finish. Bisque dolls usually only had a bisque head, with bodies, hands, and feet made out of a variety of other materials.

France and Germany were the primary producers of bisque dolls in the second half of the 19th century. French dollmakers who specialized in bisque included Jumeau, Bru, and Simone, and Huret, among others. The first bisque dolls that French dollmakers produced were fashion dolls that represented adult women and were used to advertise the latest dress fashions. Toward the end of the 19th century, these dollmakers produced the French "bébé" dolls, child-faced bisque dolls that became very popular as toys for children.

German dollmakers were able to compete with the French in the late 1800s by producing bisque dolls at lower prices. The Thuringia region of Germany was well known for its clay deposits suitable for the manufacture of porcelain. Dollmakers such as Kestner, Armand Marseille, Simon and Halbig, and Kämmer & Reinhardt produced bisque dolls from this region.


Quick Facts

  • Bisque replaced china as the porcelain style of choice because bisque could be more easily painted, resulting in doll faces with more realistic-looking skin color
  • In the 20th century, porcelain doll production moved to the United States and Japan. Porcelain doll popularity waned in the '20s as composition became the material of choice for dollmakers
  • In the '80s, porcelain once again became popular as a dollmaking material when collector dolls emerged on the doll market. Cathay Collection porcelain dolls are an example of modern-day collector dolls

Recommended Items at Auction

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3 Vintage Collectible Dolls
Mar 23, 7:00 AM PDT
3 Vintage Collectible Dolls
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Group of Miniature Porcelain Head Dolls
Feb 24, 9:00 AM CST
Group of Miniature Porcelain Head Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$202 Bids
MÄDCHENPUPPE MIT MODELLIERTEN HAAREN UND STROHHUT. KLING.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
MÄDCHENPUPPE MIT MODELLIERTEN HAAREN UND STROHHUT. KLING.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€201 Bid
KINDERMÄDCHEN MIT 2 KINDERN UND 2 HUNDEN UNTER GLASSTURZ.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
KINDERMÄDCHEN MIT 2 KINDERN UND 2 HUNDEN UNTER GLASSTURZ.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€201 Bid
BLONDE PORZELLANKOPFPUPPE.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
BLONDE PORZELLANKOPFPUPPE.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1501 Bid
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Vintage Edwin M. Knowles Dolls, Molly
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Edwin M. Knowles Dolls, Molly
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$101 Bid
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Timeless Indian Collections Porcelain Doll, Indian Princess
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Timeless Indian Collections Porcelain Doll, Indian Princess
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$101 Bid
ANTIQUE GERMAN GLASS EYE DOLL
Mar 04, 6:00 PM EST
ANTIQUE GERMAN GLASS EYE DOLL
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
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Danbury Mint Porcelain Doll By Judy Belle, Mermaid Serena
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Danbury Mint Porcelain Doll By Judy Belle, Mermaid Serena
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$101 Bid
Child and Doll China
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Child and Doll China
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Group of Miniature Porcelain and Plastic Dolls
Feb 24, 9:00 AM CST
Group of Miniature Porcelain and Plastic Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
JUMEAU - PORCELAIN DOLL N°8, OPEN MOUTH, IN ORIGINAL CLOTHES.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
JUMEAU - PORCELAIN DOLL N°8, OPEN MOUTH, IN ORIGINAL CLOTHES.
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €200- €400
€2001 Bid
PUPPENAUTOMAT MIT ORIGINALETIKETT. ROBERT CARL, SONNEBERG.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
PUPPENAUTOMAT MIT ORIGINALETIKETT. ROBERT CARL, SONNEBERG.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€3601 Bid
Dynasty Doll Club Vintage Porcelain Clown
Feb 24, 7:00 AM PST
Dynasty Doll Club Vintage Porcelain Clown
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
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Vintage Seymour Mann Porcelain Baby Doll
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage Seymour Mann Porcelain Baby Doll
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $100- $200
$200 Bids
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Vintage Pamela Phillips Porcelain Doll
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage Pamela Phillips Porcelain Doll
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
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Vintage Enoc by Pat Kolesar Porcelain Doll
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage Enoc by Pat Kolesar Porcelain Doll
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
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Vintage 1800’s Lenci Spanish Doll
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage 1800’s Lenci Spanish Doll
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $200- $400
$400 Bids
SMALL PORCELAIN DOLL HEAD DEBOSSED WITH "MADE IN GERMANY" 12/0.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
SMALL PORCELAIN DOLL HEAD DEBOSSED WITH "MADE IN GERMANY" 12/0.
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €50- €100
€500 Bids
2 Hamilton Heritage Lindsey and Sara porcelain dolls, like new in original boxes
Feb 25, 12:00 PM EST
2 Hamilton Heritage Lindsey and Sara porcelain dolls, like new in original boxes
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $150
$100 Bids
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Collectible Fine Bisque Porcelain Praying Angel Doll “Collectors Choice”
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Collectible Fine Bisque Porcelain Praying Angel Doll “Collectors Choice”
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
BYE-LO-BABY. GEORGE BORGFELDT & CO, BERLIN.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
BYE-LO-BABY. GEORGE BORGFELDT & CO, BERLIN.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
BLONDE CHARAKTERPUPPE. KOENIG & WERNICKE.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
BLONDE CHARAKTERPUPPE. KOENIG & WERNICKE.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€900 Bids
CHARAKTERJUNGE MIT MATROSENANZUG. HERTEL, SCHWAB & CO, FÜR KÖNIG & WERNICKE.
Feb 22, 10:00 AM CET
CHARAKTERJUNGE MIT MATROSENANZUG. HERTEL, SCHWAB & CO, FÜR KÖNIG & WERNICKE.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€900 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Porcelain Dolls


Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Kendzia

Kendzia