Dolls are not just for little kids anymore. In fact, collecting dolls is a hobby trending among sophisticated collectors. Here at LAWSON & CO we see many very serious doll collectors in search of special finds for their doll collections.

Collecting Dolls Follows No Set Rules

There is no one reason for collecting dolls and as many different dolls there are, there are at least that many reasons to collect them! Some collections follow a specific doll, like Barbie, through the years. Another might be a collection of baby dolls through the years.

There is no right – or wrong – way to collect dolls. It’s completely up to the collector. Here are some of the many reasons why doll collecting is an interesting and engaging hobby:

Appreciation of Antiques

Antique dolls are very special. Antique dolls are generally smaller, so they are more mobile and easier to store. China or porcelain dolls are popular for those reasons. These dolls from the mid-1800’s can be inexpensive to collect as well. Any doll made before 1960 is considered vintage. A doll made between 1960 and 1980 may be considered a modern collectible.

Interest in History

You may be a history buff. Dolls from different eras are iconic. From the 1966 Barbie to the bisque doll made in France or Germany during the 1800s. There is not an era that passes that has dolls specific to that time. Exhibits in museums and even museums dedicated completely to dolls can enhance a collection.

Vintage Fashion and Sewing

Doll clothes come in many different shapes and sizes. In fact, doll fashions follow societal fashions – right down to the go-go boots of the 60s and 70s or the Gone with the Wind petticoats! Doll fashion covers men’s fashions, too. Not all dolls are female. People interested in fashion are often interested in sewing. Making doll clothes can be fun – and lucrative, too!

Nostalgia, Tradition, and a Connection with Childhood

Collecting dolls can be a family tradition. It is very special to pass on a Gibson Girl your grandmother grew up loving or that Cabbage Patch Doll you loved as a child. A Happy Days Fonzie figure, vintage GI Joe or dimpled Cabbage Patch doll conjures up those memories of a childhood that was simple and innocent when everything seemed to make sense! They are sentimental and bring history alive.

Seasonal or Holiday Dolls

Season dolls around Christmas time can be like ornaments and add to your holiday decorating and look cute under or around tree. Victorian dolls can add class and sweetness to your holiday décor.

Home Décor

Dolls fit into décor. A single doll adds a dramatic touch to your home. Organizing a larger collection boosts fun in a room and is also a display of art.

Celebrity Dolls

Celebrity dolls are fun too! Many people love that vintage 1960’s Cher doll with her long luxurious hair. A Dolly Parton Barbie look alike that winks when you press a button is charming.

The Technical Side of Collecting Dolls

Just as there is with every collectible, doll collectors have a lot to learn. From makers marks, and authentication details to its own language, the details are important. Here are some of the expressions that will be helpful to know:

  • A/O-All Original
  • HTF – Hard to find
  • MIB – Mint in Box (describes a factory mint-condition doll in the original box).
  • MIP – Mint in Package
  • MNB – Mint no Box (a doll in almost new condition, no box)
  • NM – Near mint. Excellent condition
  • NRFB – Never Removed from Box. This is as new and pure as it gets and increases the doll’s value.

Whether you are an intense doll collector or just have an appreciation of Cabbage Patch dolls, you will find collectible dolls at LAWSON & CO auctions. Or, if it is time to move on from your collection, call us at (317) 745-6404 to find out more about including it in an upcoming auction event. Whether it is a valuable heirloom or a nostalgic step back in time, there is a buyer!

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