Doll Collecting not just for Little Girls

Antique wax doll. Image from Heather Bond Dolls.

Antique wax doll. Image from Heather Bond Dolls.

Collecting Dolls is the kind of collecting passion that you get – or don’t get. I used to be part of the first camp even when I owned and operated my antique store “From Times Past”. I changed my mind , however, once I received a sizeable collection of dolls (and stuffed Teddy Bears which have always been my favorite) to sell for a client.

in order to price and write my information tags I did research and spoke to collectors who were passionate about dolls. So, little by little, I became interested in knowing more about them. There are funny dolls that bring a smile to your face, there are strange two-headed dolls, and there are dolls that stick in your mind because they aren’t like any you’ve ever seen. In this group, I include antique wax dolls.

The faces of these dolls are eerily real. This first image is from a specialist doll collector and dealer, Heather Bond, from the famous Portobello Rd. Market in London, England. To read more about these dolls go to her site: http://heatherbond.co.uk/portfolio/a-wax-head/ .

The wax doll I had in the store was a “newborn baby” with her eyes closed. I never did sell her because most customers felt she looked dead. The price tag was a cool $1650.00, an indication of how uncommon these dolls are.

One of my favorite “pretty” dolls was a Canadian doll called “The Eaton’s Beauty Doll. The Canadian Museum site at: http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/cat2101e.shtml had this to say about the Eaton Doll:

Eaton's Beauty Doll. Image from Canadian Museum site.

Eaton’s Beauty Doll. Image from Canadian Museum site.

In 1900, Eaton’s catalogue introduced the first Eaton Beauty doll. The advertisement read: “Eaton Beauty, all jointed, special $1.00; large sizes from $1.50 to $10.00 each.” The smallest dolls (20 inches [50.8 cm] tall) were a dollar, a price that was maintained until 1916. For the first five or six years, the bisque heads were shoulderheads (the head and shoulder plate were all one piece) with sleep eyes and curly mohair wigs. The shoulderheads were often made by Armand Marseille in Germany, model 370. The bodies were made of kid leather and were jointed at the knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders.

Eaton's Beauty Doll 1926

Eaton’s Beauty Doll 1926

These dolls are not exactly rare because the recipients of such special toys kept care of them. However it is unusual to find a doll with original clothing or boxes. Based on the style, rarity and completeness of wardrobe and box, these dolls sell most often in the $350 to $500 range.

You can check the amazing variety of antique dolls out for yourself at an upcoming doll show which is being held on Sunday, September 28th at the Alberta Aviation Museum at 11410 Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. It takes place from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and the admission is only $5.00

Eaton's Beauty Doll 1940

Eaton’s Beauty Doll 1940


They will have over 90 vendors with antique, collectible and modern dolls, toys and teddy bears along with clothing, patterns, artists, miniatures, doll and teddy bear making supplies and related accessories. (I may go to check out miniatures – another interest of mine.)

The Doll Club of Edmonton is a not for profit organization and a portion of the proceeds are given to a charity that benefits children.

See you there!

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