14" Googly-Eyed Doll

This example is a modern reproduction doll made from a mold taken from an antique doll. Possibly the original doll from which the mold was taken was a Kestner Googly, or Roguish-eyed, doll, but we did not attempt to ascertain the actual original maker. Nearly all doll manufacturers made some of their dolls with 'flirty' (googly) eyes during the first quarter of the 20th century, when they were very popular.

This doll has bisque lower legs and forearms and starfish-shaped hands made in the style of antique dolls. The remainder of the body is made of cloth, stained to make it appear aged (probably a tea stain), and very tightly stuffed.

Just as was true in the early 20th century, 'Googly' dolls have now once again become highly sought, and prices for authentically old dolls have risen dramatically. This reproduction artist's doll marked "Lil Robin" on the back of the shoulder plate is very well made and professionally decorated. It is a very attractive example. But, even so, a collector should not want to have to pay a premium amount to buy this type of doll because it was suggested to them it was an 'original.' Because it is not - it is a contemporary copy.

If collecting with an eye toward future value don't be taken in only by a sweet, well painted face on a modern-made reproduction. Remember, a skilled crafts-person can recreate the look of any feature of a vintage or antique doll, including Googly dolls. And many have done and will continue to do so. As these types of artist-made reproductions begin to gain some amount of actual age it may become increasingly difficult to differentiate them from the originals that they mimic. Doll collecting is one of the many areas where prices are steadily escalating for genuine antique and vintage items, so it can be well worth the time to do at least enough research to know individual characteristics that must be present on a particular type of doll or doll accessory, if authentic. If you don't know what specifics to look for and don't feel you have the time to do research prior to making a purchase, then your best course of action would be to buy dolls for your collection only from established, reputable dealers who value their reputation and avidly seek repeat customers. This type of dealer will be happy to guarantee the authenticity of all items they sell. A quality dealer will accept a return on false items that may have initially slipped by their own ability to authenticate correctly, which offers the buyer some measure of security in their purchases.

This reproduction doll has big, modern-made brown glass eyes. The upper lashes were carefully hand painted. It has nice rosy cheeks, a well painted mouth and a contemporary wig of dark brown mohair that is well matched to the type of doll. The outfit in which she is dressed is actually vintage, probably 1930's era. She is also wearing vintage socks and shoes. Sometimes the clothing in which a reproduction doll has been dressed can obfuscate the fact that the doll itself is not of the same age. Always ask to examine a collectible doll's body or, if buying online, expect to be shown visible characteristics present on the body that helped the seller to identify it as old and authentic. Never be ashamed or afraid to ask to see these kinds of images, if not already provided in a listing, or to ask questions prior to purchasing. A quality dealer appreciates the opportunity to prove their expertise to a willing buyer as their aim will be to have them back again in the future as a repeat customer.

This reproduction doll is 14 inches tall.

Item ID: 2007RP000158

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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