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How to sell antique dolls



Antique dolls first appeared in 3000BC in ancient Greece. These were buried with young girls who had died prematurely, so few examples have survived. Any antique dolls before the late 18th or early 19th century are rare to find, but, fortunately for sellers, collectors prize dolls of all kinds. This guide will show you sought-after examples, as well as where and how to sell antique dolls for profit.

Best types of antique dolls to sell

Wooden dolls

You’ll have no problem figuring out how to sell antique dolls of this kind. Also known as ‘peg’ dolls, examples from the late 17th and early 18th-century are in high demand. Prices have gone up and up over the years: two William and Mary wooden dolls went for £16,000 at an auction in 1974, while one single doll of a similar sort sold for £71,500 in 1991.

Porcelain dolls

Coming to the market in the mid-18th century, the first ceramic dolls were made from bisque - a kind of unglazed, biscuit porcelain. They reached peak popularity in the 19th century, with ‘dolly’ faces by French and German makers. These sell for up to £500 today. But how much are porcelain dolls worth if you’re lucky enough to have a rare example? Big, big prices. A Huret doll stamped with a maker’s mark, in its original clothes, could sell for up to £15,000. Extremely scarce dolls with ‘character’ moulds - faces modelled on real children - can change hands at nearly six-figure sums.

Rag dolls

Probably the most popular rag dolls are the extremely rare Walker dolls. In top condition, these American antique dolls have been known to value at £10,000. Famed early-20th-century dolls, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, sell differently depending on the location. In America, early painted dolls in good condition can fetch up to £475 at auction, whereas they might only sell for around £100 in Europe.

How to sell antique dolls for desirable prices

These pointers can help you decide whether you’re holding onto a valuable doll or not, but before you scope out where to sell antique dolls, you need to make sure they’re in good condition. These are delicate items, so make sure you study how to clean antique dolls clothes, faces and bodies properly to retain their value. If you’re still unsure how much your doll is worth, take it to an expert. A doll appraiser will be able to tell you how to get the best value for your antique.

Where can I sell my antique dolls?

Where to sell antique dolls depends on the type of doll in your possession. Auctioneers can fetch high prices, but they also have high standards for the dolls they sell. If your antique doll doesn’t reach auction house standards, look for antique dealers, centres and fairs with solid reputations.

At Hemswell Antiques Centres, our dealers have a wide range of nostalgia-inducing toys for sale, including antique dolls. As a Hemswell dealer, you’ll cut out the time-consuming stress of figuring out how to sell antique dolls, because our top-class, uniformed staff nail the sales for you. As well as our helpful team on site to sell your antique dolls while you get on with other tasks, you’ll have access to our online Dealer Portal, where the potential customers list items wanted or for sale daily. Read more about our becoming part of Europe’s largest and most professionally managed antiques centre and let us help you thrive.

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