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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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The Franklin Mint Porcelain Portrait Doll, Diana
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
The Franklin Mint Porcelain Portrait Doll, Diana
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$101 Bid
Three large porcelain dolls
Dec 03, 10:00 AM AEDT
Three large porcelain dolls
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD151 Bid
Vier Marotte-Porzellankopfpuppen mit Musikspielwerken
Dec 01, 11:00 AM CET
Vier Marotte-Porzellankopfpuppen mit Musikspielwerken
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1500 Bids
MARIE OSMOND BEAUTY BUG BALL PORCELAIN DOLL W/BOX
Dec 02, 12:00 PM EST
MARIE OSMOND BEAUTY BUG BALL PORCELAIN DOLL W/BOX
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
antique Morimura Brothers girl doll
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
antique Morimura Brothers girl doll
by Yardley Antiques
Est: $100- $125
$350 Bids
Puppe mit Porzellankopf/ baby doll
Dec 08, 2:00 PM CET
Puppe mit Porzellankopf/ baby doll
by Kunstauktionshaus Günther
Est: €0- €0
€400 Bids
A Rare F.Y.Nippon Porcelain Doll
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
A Rare F.Y.Nippon Porcelain Doll
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $250- $2,500
$2500 Bids
Antique porcelain doll parts
Dec 10, 9:00 AM EST
Antique porcelain doll parts
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $25- $2,000
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll named Annette
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll named Annette
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$200 Bids
Vintage porcelain baby doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain baby doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$200 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain musical bride doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain musical bride doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $60
$250 Bids
Vintage porcelain doll
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Vintage porcelain doll
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
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Evelt Porcelain Doll, Jane Seymour
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Evelt Porcelain Doll, Jane Seymour
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Evelt Porcelain Doll, Regal Lady
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Evelt Porcelain Doll, Regal Lady
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Victoria Impex Porcelain Doll, Hawaiian Girl with Stand
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Victoria Impex Porcelain Doll, Hawaiian Girl with Stand
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Vintage Large Hertwig Nanking Porcelain Doll Blue Cream
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Large Hertwig Nanking Porcelain Doll Blue Cream
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Vintage Large Hertwig nanking porcelain doll red floral
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Large Hertwig nanking porcelain doll red floral
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Vintage Medium Hertwig Nanking Porcelain Doll Cream Lace
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Medium Hertwig Nanking Porcelain Doll Cream Lace
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Porcelain Dolls


Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Auktionshaus Wersching

Auktionshaus Wersching

Auktionshaus am See

Auktionshaus am See