Reader Needs Help with Vintage Dolls Identification

I received an email from Linda last week with 3 photos of vintage dolls she had recently purchased but needs help identifying. I’m sure as a group we can help her figure out who some of these beauties are.

vintage dolls

Photo # 1 – four dolls.

vintage dolls

Photo #2 – four dolls.

vintage dolls

Photo #3 – the first one is a Kewpie doll, but the other 3 need identification.

If you have any answers, ideas, or insight into what dolls any of these are, please leave a comment below.

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  1. firstie

  2. In the first pic, the 1st and 3rd dolls look like Nancy Ann Storybook dolls. In the 2nd pic, the 2nd looks like a Madame Alexander Tiny Betty. It would help to know how big the dolls are.

  3. I wonder if any other dolls are madame alexander dolls

  4. some of these dolls are dream world dolls I think they resemble to the dolls on this page

  5. Going with my guy feeling of Kewpie.

  6. Megan aka Megz says:

    Char~ when are you going to post the winners of the books?

  7. Megz – the giveaway ends tonight which means I’ll post the winners tomorrow.

  8. Isabella says:

    My mom thinks the ones in the second one are Quipies. Most are china dolls.

  9. i have a ton of old dolls of my moms some look like kewpies

  10. Caitlin says:

    Sorry, can’t help.

  11. Hello, I am Linda who is looking for information on the above 3 pictures of dolls.. All the dolls have moveable heads and arms. They are all very old. All the eyes are painted on. The dolls in pictures 1 and 2 are approximately 7″ – 7.5″ tall. In picture 3 the first big doll is 13″ Tall. The bride doll is 11″ Tall, the baby doll is 5″ tall and says story book doll USA 9 on the back. The little doll is 3.5″ tall. There are no markings on any of the other dolls and some of the clothes are stapled on. PLEASE help with the identification for me. I really appreciate any help I can get. Thank you very much.

  12. aglover says:

    sorry can not help but i need identification for my doll

  13. Hi, Linda –

    The first three dolls in the first picture, and all four dolls in the second photo, are what is known as “dress-me” dolls. These were popular, colorfully dressed, inexpensive American-made plastic (or possible composition – I cannot tell from the photos) dolls of the 1950s, whose clothing was often stapled on but made to resemble fairytale characters, holiday costumes, or international folk costume. Such dolls were made in great numbers and were typically sold in a flat square cardboard box with a “window” on the lid – the doll would have her skirts spread all around her in circular fashion and would look very showy as a result. Lots of little girls collected these dolls in the 1950s – many were sold in dime stores for around $1.50-3.00 and were popular birthday gifts. Now, their values seem to hover around $10.00 -$15.00 apiece for dolls in good condition. The older compo. dress-me dolls go for a bit more, but none are very costly, as they were inexpensively made to start with and still are widely available, as they were made in great numbers and many were displayed and not played with..

    The first doll appears to be Little Red Riding Hood, the second might be in Russian costume, the third is a Valentine’s Day girl, while the fourth – is a recently made porcelain doll in a sort of old-fashioned costume which probably is just sweetly sentimental without representing any particular character.

    Photo #2: First is a Carmen Miranda sort of Brazilian girl, the second looks as if she’s been redressed at home, while the third and fourth dolls are in some sort of international costumes which aren’t obvious enough for me to identify – sorry. Eastern European, perhaps…

    Photo #3: As others said, this is a carnival kewpie-type – NOT a copyrighted Rose O’Neill Kewpie doll, however. This doll was probably won as a prize for knocking down a stack of balls or picking the right duck in the duck pond! It is made of composition and is likely to be made no later than the 1940. Keep it where there are not extremes of temperature or humidity to make sure it continues to survive in good condition. It looks as if the doll’s mohair wig might have met a moth or two – maybe you could add some mohair “extensions” to restore it. Do check for moth cocoons, just in case. Often such dolls “wore” a wide pastel or red satin ribbon around their chubby middles, with a big bow right in front – they look quite charming and more “finished” that way (to my eyes, at least). Adding such a ribbon would be a quick and inexpensive way to spruce up your doll a little and perhaps restore her to her original appearance.

    Your bride doll is also made of composition and looks very 1940s to me. She is American-made , and also has a mohair wig. Imho, she is the nicest of your dolls. Again, make sure she avoids extremes of temperature and excess humidity (and keep all your dolls away from direct sunshine).

    The two little remaining dolls appear to be made of plastic. The one in the blue bunting may be Italian, and might be a late celluloid. Usually these little Italian dolls are marked on the back of their shoulders, sometimes with a logo rather than a maker’s name, but they should also be marked “Italy”. This little doll appears to be in its original condition, and to be doll-house-scaled (one inch to one foot). Dolls like these were sold in dime stores at very reasonable prices in the 1950s, so children could buy them with their allowances. Prices (still very reasonable) are rising on dolls like the blue-clad one that still retain their original clothing, but not so much on the other little doll.

    None of these dolls have great value, alas, but all are worth keeping and displaying, as they are typical of the dolls that a little girl from an early 1950s family of rather modest means might have owned and treasured.

    BTW, the United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) has a wealth of information about dolls and doll collecting…check out their website (which I don’t have bookmarked, but surfing for UFDC should bring it right up).

    Hope this helps…thanks for sharing your dolls.

    Take care,
    UFDC member and doll collector

  14. Thank you so much Susan!! That is so helpful.