Your Antique Porcelain Dolls’ Value and What It Means

porcelain dolls' value

The times of the early antique porcelain dolls dates around the 1850s. Among them the porcelain bisque dolls of German and French make belonging to the mid 1800s and early 1900s are considered valuable by a large number of collectors. The smooth bisque skin and the huge, expressive eyes of such antique dolls touch your heart right away and these attributes have been the reason for their fascination to the public over so many years. Now, if you have one of such dolls, you may wonder as to what must be the worth of this possession. Let us take you through the valuation.

How to Determine your Porcelain Dolls’ Value

How then do you determine your porcelain dolls’ value? It’s not exactly difficult, but for determining your porcelain dolls’ value, correct identification is the first step. After proper identification of your porcelain doll, as to the time period it belongs to and the make, its value can be determined by referring to any porcelain doll value guide. Many of these are available in the market. They act as a ready reckoner for determining the correct worth of your antique doll. Other sources for appraising your porcelain dolls’ value are:

  • Doll books and magazines
  • Doll appraisers
  • Internet websites
  • eBay‘s completed auctions

However, valuing an antique porcelain doll is a tricky affair. The book value of the doll may not necessarily equal its market value and this is largely due to today’s universal, liquid and instant doll market. This implies that an antique doll of the 1930s may be valued by the doll price guides at $300 but if the market for them is wan, then it may fetch only $200 or so or vice versa. So, book value refers to the worth of the porcelain doll which is in perfect condition. A useful guide to determine the book value is the ’16th Blue Book of Dolls’ by Jan Foulke or Patsy Moyer’s ‘Doll Values’. But for the market values, you will find the above mentioned sources quite useful.

Factors Determining Your Porcelain Dolls’ Value

Several factors determine the value of an antique doll. Some of them are listed below for ready reference.

Age: Age of the doll has to be considered along with its rarity. If your porcelain doll is one of a kind as well as old then its value increases.

Totally Original: If your porcelain doll is original in every respect with regard to the wig, clothing, eyes and body parts, then it will command more value. If the doll has been repaired or restored, then the value will be reduced.

Quality & Appeal: Quality differences exist in the doll heads even if they are removed from the same doll mould. The appearance of the doll’s face rests solely on the talent of the artist. Dolls which have expressive, shining eyes, smooth bisque and unblemished face has a higher value.

Size: The larger the size of your porcelain doll, the greater will be its value. This is the normal rule though there could be exceptions to the rule.

Clothing: The presence of original clothing on your porcelain doll will add to her value and also the existence of accessories such as shoes, hats and parasols.

Markings: A marked doll commands more value than an unmarked one. The usual places where these used to be stamped were the back of the shoulder plate, back of the head or the body.

Body Types: Though this is a matter of personal choice, certain body types are more sought after by a large number of collectors.

Eventually porcelain dolls’ value to the collector all depends on his reasons for cultivating this passion.

Main Photos Credit: GalleryHip, Cashconverters Australia 

About Staci Kersh

Vintage furniture lover, especially loves to piece together antique beauties such as gas pumps or sewing machines and blend them seamlessly into your home. Loves to talk, walk the dog and hang around garage sales all the time. Drop her a mail at if you want to connect.