Doll Collecting – How to Identify Your Vintage Doll

Do you have vintage dolls from your childhood that you would like to identify? Have you found a doll at a yard sale or thrift store, and would like to know more about her? Some dolls can be identified by their maker’s mark ラブドール . Others are more difficult to identify; not all dolls were marked, and some companies sold their molds to other doll manufacturers, creating a host of “look-alikes.”

Many of the well-known doll manufacturers marked their dolls, so the first thing to do is look for markings. Most markings are on the back of the doll’s neck, right underneath the hairline, or on the doll’s back. However, some dolls may have marking on the inside of their arms or the soles of their feet.

If the doll has her original clothing, that should be checked for identifying marks, too. Many doll manufacturers sewed tags into their doll’s clothing, stating who the doll was or what company made her. Other dolls’ clothing had the doll’s name embroidered or silk-screened directly onto the fabric, such as some Madame Alexander Maggie and Cosmopolitan Miss Ginger outfits.

Even once you find a doll’s markings or a tag in her clothing, you may need to research the marking before you can find out anything about the doll. For example, many American Character dolls were marked simply “A.C.” If you don’t know much about dolls, you may not know what that means. And even if a doll is marked more legibly i.e. Madame Alexander dolls were frequently marked “Alexander” or “Mme. Alexander” — you will still need to do some research before you know which doll it was.

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