This Doll Questions Archive Is The First Of Five Email Questions with Answers by Pam
Welcome To Our First Doll Questions Archive Page!
This Question is from Teresa!
"Hello, my name is Teresa and my mother has a lot of antique dolls she is looking to sell the lot of them there are about 40-50 dolls. They all belonged to her mother. Could you please let me know how she can go about doing this or is it better for her to sell them off one by one. She is not sure of the value of any of the dolls in the collection."
There are many ways for your mother to sell her dolls. I do not know the location of the collection, whether you are in a large city or a rural area, but there is always a buyer for a collection out there somewhere.
You mentioned that your mother is on line, so she may be familiar with eBay. If she has a camera and the time to list each doll individually on the eBay auction, she will probably be able to realize the highest dollar amount for each doll.
She would need to describe the condition of the doll thoroughly and the "marks" of manufacturer found on the backs of the head or torso area.
This would involve individual shipping of each doll, but, if she is not knowledgeable about their value, the buyers on eBay are and will bid up their value accordingly!
If she is in a metropolitan area, she might call the library to locate local doll clubs. Price the dolls......if she is familiar with their value........and invite the clubs to a sale.
Again, if she is in a populated area, she could place an ad in the local newspaper. There are always doll collectors out there looking for more dolls to adopt. Have a price in mind for the entire collection or each individual doll.
If she already has pictures........email me a few and perhaps I can give her some more definite direction.
Thanks for stopping by our site! Hope I have been of some assistance.
Pam Montana Dolllady
This Question is from Laraine!
Hi, When I was a girl my parents brought me to Australia, the thing I most loved was my doll, and I left her on my bed, my parents would not go and get her as we were at the train station on our way to Australia,
I know I will never have that doll, but she was a Princes Ann Doll, I was 12yrs old and I am now 56, but have never forgotten that doll, if you can help me find one I would be so happy, can you get back to me if you can help me, thanks Laraine.
Answer! Hi! I would be delighted to try to assist you in your search for Princess Ann. I know how it is to search for a long lost childhood doll. It took 20 years for me to locate my childhood bride doll. But, with the miraculous web site........eBay.........you can find almost any lost orphans.
There were several dolls manufactured bearing the name Princess Ann. Could you describe her a bit better? Was she a baby type doll with a hard composition head and arms............or was she constructed of molded felt.
A guesstimate of size? Hair color? Was it painted molded hair? It is amazing what we remember about our childhood dolls, and we can't remember where we put the pen we were using 20 minutes ago. The wonderful thing about eBay is the constant listing hourly of more and more lost dolls needing homes.
If I can locate one in the listings.......I can send you the link .........and you can bid on it. All listings have pictures, so your doll will be readily identifiable. And the majority of sellers ship world wide. I will be waiting for more information. Hope to be able to be some assistance!
Pam Montana Dolllady
This Question is from Sharon!
Hi! I think the old Hollywood dolls would be considered a dime-store doll. Do you know of a website, book, or any reference for someone interested in them?
Hollywood dolls are little darlings. I do not know of any book or reference guide pertaining to them alone. We had to wait a very long time for someone to write a book about Nancy Ann dolls......perhaps someone will write one soon.
There is a 3 page reference in Hard Plastic Dolls, II by Pam and Polly Judd. A one page reference in Hard Plastic Dolls by Pam and Polly Judd. Both books are out of print, but, you can usually locate one in the ebay auction listings from time to time.
Not actually considered a dime store doll, they were at the bottom of the doll collecting preference list for many years. But, they are now coming into their own, and there are many Hollywood collectors out there.
I recently sold my entire collection of the little girls......but here is a suggestion as to how you may be able to obtain more information. It is a bit time consuming, but fun.
Go to my favorite 24 hour/7 day a week doll show.......eBay. Search for Hollywood Dolls. If you can obtain one in a box with the brochure......it will list the dolls that were available. Such as "Storybook Series" etc.
Many Hollywood dolls come up for auction, with and without their boxes, and they are bringing much lower prices on eBay than the suggested values in doll price guides.
If you have a printer.......you might print out the ebay listing page for further reference to identify dresses and Series. Some of the dolls have very elaborate costumes, feathers and satin......while others have cotton dresses. I love the babies.
Wish I could have been of more assistance.
Pam Montana Dolllady
Thank you so much for your response and the info! You know so much more about the subject than I do (I just recently discovered this passion) and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me.
I have bought some Hollywood Dolls on ebay - I love them. I did get a baby, and I agree that they are so sweet. I've also gotten a couple of Nancy Ann Storybook dolls.
I went to a garage sale recently, saw no dolls, but the hostess was an elderly woman, so for the heck of it I asked her if she had any dolls. She went in the house, came back and handed me a beautiful Nancy Ann Storybook and charged me $5 for it. I still can't believe it!!!!
Thank you again for responding to me and giving me the references.
This Question is from Joyce!
A friend recently asked me to help her out with an antique doll. ( I make handsculpted polymer clay dolls so she thought I would know what to do to fix her doll). I know next to nothing about porcelain dolls... The friend is at least 70 and her 97 year old mother just passed away.
The doll is supposedly the only doll her mom had as a child. I'm afraid I am dealing with a VERY old doll. I do not want to do anything to destroy whatever value the doll still has. I suspect the doll is either French or German.
The head and hands are porcelain and the body appears to be painted cloth?? I don't know if it is original, I expected to see a leather body but this really looks like heavily painted canvas. The body style appears to be old. The doll has been broken and repaired. The hands are perfect. The face/shoulder plate are one piece.
The face is perfect but the shoulder plate is cracked and glued. When the doll is properly dressed the damage wouldn't be visible. The doll is in serious need of cleaning, she is missing her wig and pate and the clothes are not orignial. My questions are what do I clean her with so I don't cause any damage? Also what style wig, clothes and shoes are appropriate for her?
This same woman gave me a box of her mothers hair to see if I could make a wig out of it for the doll. I have made many wigs from mohair and even some of human hair for my own dolls but I don't know if this would be a bad idea for an antique doll. ( the hair is blonde and the dolls eyes and eyebrows are brown) Could you please advise me?
I have no idea if this doll has any value other than sentimental but if it does I would hate to do anything to destroy its value. Exactly how do you attach a pate? Glue? Is it OK to glue things to an antique doll? I should have told her to find someone with experience in restoring antique dolls but there aren't many around in this part of South Dakota.
Thanks for your help.
Sounds like a very simple restoration. You have all you need! I am not familiar with a mold #80.......if there is a dash in between......could be the size #.
I will try to answer your questions.......
The head must be bisque........so easily cleaned. Mild soap and water and a soft cloth. Just like washing the dishes. IF the doll has a painted bisque head........that is a layer of paint you can see over the porcelain........don't apply much pressure or paint will flake off. I am guessing this is not the case.........and the color has been baked into the bisque.
There were some jointed bodies of canvas......if this is not heavily soiled .......I would leave it. Even if it was kid leather. Just read your letter again.....this is probably like an oil cloth. You might try just a moist cloth in a corner......somewhere on the back to see if the surface soil is removed easily. As you stated......most of the defects are going to be covered by clothes.
You are way ahead of the game.....with your knowledge in making wigs! If there is enough hair that the lady gave you.......definitely use it. The use of human hair on antique dolls actually preceded the mohair. Antique dolls with blonde wigs generally had brown brows. And the sentiment surrounding the doll and hair are irreplaceable.
As for glue on the pate. Since this is a sentimental doll......not for resale.......glue would be okay. But, if in doubt......take a piece of masking or similar wide tape.........place the pate in place.....circle the pate (on the bisque) with the tape. Cut notches in the top of tape all the way around........then fold each section down to adhere to tape. Glue the wig to pate.
As for the style. Nothing elaborate. Many bisque girls had long curls......but they were skimpy compared to the new wigs they sell today for replacements. Some had shorter style.......with soft curls. In this case.....less is better.
You mentioned that the doll had been broken and glued. The value is mostly sentimental. Unfortunately people are seeking perfection in these wonderful old dolls...... I am probably a doll hospitals worst nightmare. As I believe they should be left as they are found......except for cleaning and the restoration you are doing. Of course if they are found with heads broken is several pieces....that is another matter.
You did not mention whether you were dressing her or not. I have discovered a very inexpensive way to dress antique dolls. On ebay .......I search for old aprons......in lots. Can usually obtain enough vintage material......with a worn look......to dress antique dolls for under 10.00.
Good luck with your project! I know it will be satisfying .......for both of you!
Thank you for your help. I did some searching on the internet last night and I am pretty sure she is an Armand Marseilles doll circa 1910. The mother would have been about 4 years old so chronologically it is possible.
I couldn't tell if it was French or German French sounding name he was a German doll maker) The information I read seemed pretty accurate for the doll I'm restoring although the mold they were talking about was an AM 390.
I'm not as nervous about her now because it said she was a low end doll when she was new and not very valuable now especially with the cracked shoulder plate. I think my biggest problem will be working with the hair. I hope I can do it.
The hair has been wrapped up and in a box for about 80+ years. It is very dry. I am hoping if I wash it in baby shampoo and use a modern conditioner I will be able to use it. Thanks again for your help. Joyce
Hi.....sounds like you now have the confidence to tackle the project. It will be a treasure when you are finished. I have only known one other person who made wigs. She had even published a book. Juanita Openshaw. The teen tiny wigs that she created always fascinated me. Take care.....and if you ever have a picture of her when she is finished.....would love to see. Pam
This Question is from Christine!
I purchased a doll described as made from a "nut".
It's approximately 8 inches tall, the body appears to be wood, and the face a nut. The doll is dressed in a variety of cast off material scraps, made into a bonnet, apron, pantaloons. Its wooden feet are attached to the body with a nail. There is tag inside the sleeve which reads "Grandma Scott of the Ozarks".
The couple selling the doll advised is was over 50 years old and it does appear to be that old. Any ideas of what this is, is there a market for someone wanting to purchase? Thank you.
Hi! The doll is probably around the age stated. Very creative and enterprising people have fashioned dolls of many materials. There is an abundance of "nuts" in the Ozarks. Grandma Scott used them to fashion hers. They are souvenir or travel dolls........purchased by visitors to remember the area in which they vacationed.
They are unusual.......and a shelf collection of them is intriguing.
There is always a market for just about anything. Listing it on ebay would probably give you an idea of value. The bidders are knowledgeable.......and generally bid up to the going value rate. They are not rare or terribly expensive........but collectible. It is fortunate the tag is still attached.....preserving the origin of the doll. There may even be someone out there who knew "Grandma Scott"! Lots of items sell for that reason alone.
Good luck with your nutty character!
Thank you for taking the time to give me this information. I think she's very interesting and plan on keeping her another 50 years!
Hi!.......If you keep her.......she will need more nutty friends. I know there is a grandpa. If you are going to be looking for more.......I would suggest you go to my favorite shopping site on the net. eBay. Go to "Dolls &Bears......then "dolls"......"antique"....."other". Most sellers now put a gallery picture in front of the listing......which does make the search a bit easier......but looking at all of them is fun!
You might also search in other doll areas......as some sellers, unfamiliar with dolls, do not know where to list them.....
There are new listings coming on daily.....even hourly. I know I have seen the nutty little guys on there often.
If you have not done this before......you are in for a very gratifying experience. Place your bid as high as you would want to pay......as others may bid against you. Or wait and bid at the last minute.
It should not be long before you have packages of characters arriving on a regular basis.
Hope you don't get too addicted! .....but, it is a pleasant malady. Have fun........they are quite a conversation piece. Much better than a pet rock.
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