Three German China Dolls, ca. 1855

Value (2010) | $3,300 Retail$4,300 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
These dolls have belonged to my family since the 1800s. They were my great-great-grandmother's, who she gave to her daughters, who were Lucy and Annie Hall. This is Annie and that's Lucy, and that's Grandma and Grandpa. They have been kept in the family and passed down, and I know nothing else about them.

APPRAISER:
These three dolls are all considered china dolls. And in doll collecting, china means porcelain that's glazed.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Can you see the shininess of them? Now, that's as opposed to bisque dolls, which would be kind of pink and not have a glaze on them. All three of these dolls were made in Germany around 1850, 1860. The doll closest to me I believe to be the earliest, and the center doll, a little after that, and the doll with the bald head would be a little later. It's very difficult to put a maker's name on these dolls, because they were rarely if ever marked. The one closest to you would be what we refer to as a "bald head china." Some people call it Biedermeier, but I prefer to call it a bald head china. It would have had a wig on it originally. The doll next to that doll is a unusual doll because it has curls, these long curls that go all the way around. And then the third doll over here has a very boyish cut. Now, the other thing I wanted to compare were the eyes. The doll closest to you has blue eyes.

GUEST:
Correct.

APPRAISER:
The center doll has brown eyes, and the doll closest to me has brown eyes. Now, the brown-eyed dolls, in this type of doll, is more rare and more desirable. People were mainly looking to purchase blue-eyed dolls, and brown-eyed ones are more unusual. We also want to compare the condition. The doll closest to you is missing a leg.

GUEST:
And an arm.

APPRAISER:
Its sawdust is leaking out...

GUEST:
(laughing)

APPRAISER:
Arms are gone, and her wig is gone.

GUEST:
Right-- she was well loved.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, we have a doll that's in so-so condition. The center doll does not have its original body. That was possibly a favorite doll…

.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
...and played with over and over again. The torso might be the original torso, but the feet and arms have been replaced on that doll. Now, the doll closest to me has everything she should have. She has her original body, her original arms. She has stitched toes, she has her original clothing, she has original underwear. Now, this doll could be a boy.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
Boys and girls were dressed very similarly. So this could be a boy doll. The doll closest to you, because of its condition, we see this doll around, we're talking about probably $300.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The one in the center with all of her curls is a very desirable doll. She would retail for approximately a thousand dollars.

GUEST:
Whoa.

APPRAISER:
Now, the doll closest to me, she's what we call "pink luster." You notice her skin is a little pinker than the others?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
She has the brown eyes we talked about. She has this unusual hairdo that is just little wisps of hair around. This doll would retail for about $2,000 to $3,000.

GUEST:
Wow. Well, thank you, Marshall, for all that good information.

APPRAISER:
Thanks for coming in.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Antique and Collectible Dolls
Folsom, CA
Appraised value (2010)
$3,300 Retail$4,300 Retail
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Period
19th Century
Material
Cloth, Porcelain

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