History & Characteristics of the China Doll

History & Characteristics of the China Doll

History & Characteristics of the China Doll

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What To Know Before Starting A China Doll Collection

Ever wanted your own a China doll? Looking for an antique one, a newly made doll, or want to start building a collection? We’ve got a few tips here for you on what to watch out for and a little bit of history to cap off your exciting (or creepy) collection of China dolls.

China dolls did not originate from China. Yes, it’s actually referring to the material used in making the dolls, which is porcelain, or what people would call it back in the day —china. China dolls were first produced in the 18th century and were an instant hit in Germany, causing it to be reproduced for other places.

Now to some characteristics:

Bust to Shoulder Porcelain


Originally posted by i.ebayimg.com

When China dolls were first released, the porcelain parts were only the head extending up to the shoulder, and the rest of the body was made in cloth, leather, or wood. This is then attached to the main head or bust. Sometimes, the hands and feet are also made with porcelain. The porcelain parts are glazed to make it look shiny, and the facial and hair features are hand painted.


Whole Body Porcelain


Later on, dolls made out of entirely porcelain were made available. Like the previous type, the skin are glazed and the features are handpainted to make it realistic. Eyes are usually separately made, which are then later on attached in socket holes inside the head. The clothes were then tailor made, and attention to detail for these kind of dolls are made to be of top importance.

If you’re the type who’s into scary merchandise, or would want to keep some China dolls for the history it was attached with, here are some we’ve found, ranging from old to modern porcelain market dolls:

Antique Porcelain Dolls


We adore the attention to detail out in both of these dolls. They look like antiques, especially with the facial structure, the clothes, and the very delicate way they were painted. Really nice pieces for a collection or for display.


Handcrafted Dolls From Asia


Originally posted by museumvictoria.com.au

Here is are two Chinese Handcrafted Fine Porcelain Dolls. You would immediately notice the different facial structure and the distinctly customized and cultural wear. Great for museums and the like.


Customized / Re-ments Of Classics


This one is a spooked up custom of a Barbie porcelain doll. Don’t you just love the dress? The face paint and chest markings fit the whole look really well. Definitely a lop-sided good variation of the standard Barbie doll.

Now here are some tips before you’d go start looking for that China Doll that fits perfectly for you and your budding or growing collection

  1. Be wary of where it came from. Of course, this is not the case for all dolls, but the risk is there.
  2. The older the doll, the pricier it is and more fragile it is now. So much history is attached to it.
  3. You’ll know if it’s the right one for you. There are so many kinds of China dolls ―it’s a matter of just knowing if you’re about to make the right purchase.

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