This example is a modern reproduction Kewpie© doll made in bisque to better simulate an authentic doll. It has hand painted facial features and blue wings and is jointed. The arms were joined to the body with modern cord, which makes it easier to identify this particular piece as new, but these kinds of reproduction dolls can also be purposefully strung with old components, or those that just may look old, too, in an effort to have the doll be more easily mistaken for an authentic, Rose O'Neill Kewpie©.
This doll is not old, having been produced by a modern doll artist. This example may have been created from a mold taken from a real Kewpie© doll. It has quality issues that help it to be easily identifiable as a modern reproduction if one knows what characteristics to be sure to note. The eyes are a bit too white and the surface coloration too stark and new looking. It has none of the patina or warm, gentle 'skin' tones that would be notable on an older doll. The bisque is not smooth and perfect, but it should be. Note the heavy mold seam on the base that would make it difficult for this doll to securely stand upright.
Antique dolls originally made by many different well-known makers have been copied, and are still being copied. Some reproductions are very, very good and may be easily mistaken for an authentic piece by a collector new to this particular niche. 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 a Kewpie©. 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.
If the doll in this listing were authentic its value would be much higher than the price shown. So, price can sometimes alert you to an authenticity issue, too. Doll collecting is one of the many areas where prices are steadily escalating for genuine antique and vintage items. But fakes and reproductions will never increase in value in the same way. For this reason 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 also willingly accept the return of false items that may have initially slipped by their own ability to authenticate correctly, which offers the buyer some measure of security in purchasing.
This reproduction example is 5 1/8" tall.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.