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Sunday, June 5, 2011


Covered Wagon hairdo, about 1840-50, pink tint.

Flat top hairdo, about 1860, rare brown eyes.

Highland Mary hairdo on left made by Kling, about 1880. Alice in Wonderland hairdo on right, about 1870-1880.

China dolls (glazed - shiny - porcelain) were made mostly in Germany beginning in the 1700's, but didn't become popular until the 1840's. Literally billions were made, and though they were play dolls and many were broken, there are still good examples today for collectors to treasure. Many hair styles were made, depending on the styles of the times; it's possible to date a china within about 20 years. A hair style was made as long as it was popular. Blonde chinas were made in the 1880's, whereas before that, they had black and brown hair, brown being rare. Pink flesh tints were used early on. Chinas lost popularily during the latter part of the 1800's, due to the popularity of bisque (unglazed) dolls; also child-like characteristics in chinas appeared in competition with bisque child dolls. The low brow common type china doll was made from the 1890's to the 1930's. Bodies were either handmade fabric at home or purchased fabric from a manufacturer of bodies such as Goldsmith; many of the manufactured ones had corsets. Some china dolls had leather bodies or leather arms. Many had china legs and arms; early hands were spoon-shaped, and later ones were cupped.. Boots before 1870 were flat-soled and with a heel after 1870. Chinas came in many sizes and with various hairdos; most of the original prices were just a few dollars. Most chinas are unmarked.  Some collectors say they are cold and serious-looking, which is true, but during the time they were made, it was a serious business to be a child, with many adult lessons to be learned.
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