1. “Low” Brow hairstyle: This is such an unfortunate name for such a pretty doll. The black and blonde haired dolls with the curly hair most often found on china heads are iconic. To many, they are the very symbol of an antique doll. Many are only five or six inches high when attached to doll bodies. These often live in doll houses or are “dolls’ dolls.” Others are over 36 inches high. Most are made in Germany, with a few made in Japan. Many old dolls were made between 1890 and 1930. It’s been estimated that over one billion china heads were made in Germany, and these pretty examples easily swell that number. Variations include dolls with turned heads, molded necklaces, open mouths with teeth, and swivel heads. A few appear as Parian heads.
2. Flat Top Heads: Flat top china heads may be far older than most collectors thought. An example in Mary Todd Lincoln’s girlhood home allegedly belonged to her. These range from tiny examples only a few inches high to examples over 4 feet tall, some allegedly “portraits” of Mrs. Tom Thumb. A few have deep china shoulder plates indicating earlier dolls, while others are pink tinted. They are a stable of many antique doll collections and doll museums, but don’t seem to be as popular as they once were. We still love them!
3. Ruth Gibbs China Heads: These 1940s dolls are also called Godey’s Lady Dolls. They came in two sizes with different hair colors, including auburn, and painted features. The smaller dolls are more common and are around 7 inches, the larger dolls about 12 inches. The larger dolls sometimes have painted necklaces done in metallic paint. They wear Civil War clothing and came in attractive boxes similar to Nancy Ann Storybook dolls. These are not reproductions, but are true, American china heads, easy to store, and fun to collect.
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