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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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Porcelain renaissance doll
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Porcelain renaissance doll
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$152 Bids
(6pc) Porcelain, Chunsamg, Willow Fairis Dolls
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
(6pc) Porcelain, Chunsamg, Willow Fairis Dolls
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Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
GERMANY HALF DOLL BRUSH & PIN CUSHION OR LAMP TOP
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
GERMANY HALF DOLL BRUSH & PIN CUSHION OR LAMP TOP
by Imperial Auction
Est: $200- $300
$101 Bid
Lot Of Cowboy And Western Motif Items
Dec 04, 9:00 AM PST
Lot Of Cowboy And Western Motif Items
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $40- $45
$101 Bid
Group of 4 porcelain bisque dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 4 porcelain bisque dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Group of Vogue Doll Ginny Dolls and Accessories
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of Vogue Doll Ginny Dolls and Accessories
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
5 ANTIQUE BISQUE PORCELAIN DOLLS MOVEABLE BABY
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
5 ANTIQUE BISQUE PORCELAIN DOLLS MOVEABLE BABY
by Imperial Auction
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
A porcelain piano doll, first half 20th century A/F
Dec 07, 10:00 AM AEDT
A porcelain piano doll, first half 20th century A/F
by Gibson's Auctions
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD201 Bid
2 porcelain half dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
2 porcelain half dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Toy: Doll Jumeau 10 porcelain head w/ clothes
Dec 05, 1:30 PM CET
Toy: Doll Jumeau 10 porcelain head w/ clothes
by Monsantic.com
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
Doll: Doll porcelain head open mouth sulfide eyes Brand hollow DEP
Dec 05, 1:30 PM CET
Doll: Doll porcelain head open mouth sulfide eyes Brand hollow DEP
by Monsantic.com
Est: €100- €150
€1001 Bid
ANTIQUE PORCELAIN 2 COMP RAG DOLLS MINI TEDDY BEAR
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
ANTIQUE PORCELAIN 2 COMP RAG DOLLS MINI TEDDY BEAR
by Imperial Auction
Est: $200- $300
$100 Bids
6 ANTIQUE BISQUE PORCELAIN DOLLS MOVEABLE ARMS
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
6 ANTIQUE BISQUE PORCELAIN DOLLS MOVEABLE ARMS
by Imperial Auction
Est: $100- $200
$100 Bids
"GERMANY 8" PORCELAIN CHINA HEAD DOLL ANTIQUE
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
"GERMANY 8" PORCELAIN CHINA HEAD DOLL ANTIQUE
by Imperial Auction
Est: $300- $400
$100 Bids
Vicky collectible porcelain doll in box
Dec 03, 11:30 PM EST
Vicky collectible porcelain doll in box
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
Red and white felt dressed collectible porcelain doll
Dec 03, 11:30 PM EST
Red and white felt dressed collectible porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
Vintage limited edition plaid dressed porcelain doll
Dec 03, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage limited edition plaid dressed porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $60
$250 Bids
Group of 4 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 4 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Group of 3 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 3 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Group of 5 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 5 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Group of 4 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 4 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
Group of 5 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
Dec 04, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 5 Porcelain Shirley Temple Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Porcelain Dolls


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Monsantic.com

Monsantic.com