Antique China Head Dolls 1836-1940s

1892 China head doll low brow Hertwig Bertha
1895 China head doll Low Brow Bertha by Hertwig

Antique porcelain China head dolls were made mostly by German companies from 1836 to the 1940s, dolls are usually found on wood, cloth or kid leather bodies, some dolls have partial China or porcelain limbs.  Most China dolls have molded, painted hair, some dolls have a wig over a solid bald porcelain dome head.  The most common China head doll is the Low Brow hairstyle. Black hair, blue eyes are most common, yes many blondes were made too and some very rare brown eyed dolls can be found. Unglazed porcelain China dolls are referred to as Parian dolls.

China head dolls range in size from a tiny 3 inches to a big and heavy 40 inches tall.   China head dolls are usually unmarked, some dolls may have a mold number or doll makers mark on the back of the neck or on the shoulder plate, thus it can be impossible to pinpoint the doll maker. So China head dolls are identified by the type of hairstyle they have.  Over the long history of China head doll making, as hairstyles changed, dolls changed too, which gives us a clue to date them.

So how well do you know your Hairstyles?

(click the images to enlarge to see full sized details on this page)

related; China head dolls, Antique dolls versus Reproduction dolls and how to tell the difference

1840's China Head Doll Bun Damenkoph,
Lady head, Young Queen Victoria

1840s China head doll Bun Damenkoph, a young Queen Victoria lady hairstyle a bun, braid, rolled at the back

1840s China head kinderkoff child shoulder boy head dolls

1840s China head Child doll Kinderkoff head of a female or male child shoulder head China doll

1840's China Head Doll KPM rare blanc de chine male shoulder head

1840s China head doll KPM, not a hairstyle, very rare blanc de chine male shoulder head.

 1840's  China Head Doll Lydia head

1840s China head doll Lydia hairstyle parted in the center, smooth on top, ringlet type long curls on side

1840's China Head Doll Sophia Smith hairstyle

1840s China head doll Sophia Smith hairstyle with straight sausage curled hair, similar to Lydia’s

1850's China head doll Biedermeier or bald head

1850’s China head doll Biedermeier or bald head, solid dome with a wig

 1850's China Head Doll Covered wagon head

1850’s China head doll Covered Wagon hairstyle, center part, flat on top with curls around the head

1850's China Head Doll Greiner style head

1850’s China head doll Greiner style hairstyle with a middle part, wavy on the sides with comb marks, high forehead

1860's China Head Doll Alice in Wonderland head

1860’s China head doll Alice in Wonderland hairstyle with molded headband on a Motsch-mann type body

1860's China Head Doll Countess Dagmar head 

1860’s China head doll Countess Dagmar various elaborate hairstyles some dolls with pierced ears

860's China Head Doll High Brow head

1860s China head doll High Brow hairstyle center part, flat top, curls around face, round face high forehead

1860's China Head Doll Jenny Lind head

1860s China head doll Jenny Lind hairstyle parted in the middle, pulled back into a bun, high forehead

1860's China Head Doll Morning Glory hairstyle

1860s China head doll Morning Glory hairstyle pulled back hair, wavy on sides, molded flowers over ear

1860s China head doll Waterfall hairstyle

1860s China head doll Waterfall hairstyle hair pulled back into an elaborate bun type ??

1860s-70s China head doll Mary Todd Lincoln hairstyle

1860s-70s China head doll Mary Todd Lincoln hairstyle pulled back into a snood

1860s-70s China head doll flat top, high bow, civil war hairstyle

1860-70s  China head doll hairstyle Flat top, High brow, Civil War, parted in the middle with short curls, high forehead

1870's China Head Doll Adelina Patti hairstyle

1870’s China head doll Adelina Patti hairstyle with a center part, rolled hair, elaborate curls

1870's China Head Doll ABG Curly Top head

1870s China head doll hairstyle Curly Top has ringlet curls all over entire head

1870s China head doll Dolly Madison hairstyle

1870s  China Head Doll Dolly Madison hairstyle with curls all over the head with molded ribbon

1870's China Head Doll ABG Spill Curl hairstyle

1870s  China head doll Spill Curl hairstyle of curls on forehead and spilling down the back of the neck

1870s China head doll Currier & Ives hairstyle

1870s China head doll Currier & Ives hairstyle with bangs, some have details like a headband on this Parian doll

1880s China head doll Highland Mary ABG

1880s China head doll Highland Mary hairstyle ABG doll, with bangs and curls at sides

1890s China head doll Low Brow hairstyle

1890s China head doll Low Brow hairstyle is most common style of this era, all over curls blonde or black hair

1900's China Head Doll Bonnet head dolls

1900’s China had doll Bonnet heads with a molded bonnet over the molded hair

1900's China Head Doll Japan, China heads China head dolls made in Japan had various hairstyles

1900s China head doll made in Japan various hairstyles.

Additional China Head dolls not shown; 1905s China head doll, Low Brow hairstyle, jeweled neckline, 1920-30s China head doll, Low Brow hairstyle, some made in Japan, 1940s China head dolls.

The Meissen KPM factories are the oldest and most desirable of China head dolls.  The Thüringia area in Germany had many other small porcelain factories that produced China head dolls as well. During and after World War I, China dolls were also made in Japan.
related; China Head Dolls, Antique dolls versus Reproduction dolls and how to tell the difference

This China head doll page was made possible by the China doll expert and collector Kathy Turner, visit her doll shop Virtu Doll.

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