Vintage Dolls: A Modern Comeback
A doll is best defined as a model based from the near likeness of a human being. Dolls have a far ranging use and importance the world over. Traditionally, dolls have been used in both ritual magic and in religious ceremonies yet they have always held a commonplace welcome in the hands of children who loved them just as much. Conventional dolls are made of materials that can include firing clay or porcelain, wood and various sewn-cloth materials, and commonly found throughout the Americas, Europe and even Africa. The earliest documented dolls were made as crude rudimentary playthings and later developed into well elaborate works of art. The current dolls that were the earliest in manufacturing process had their first roots in Germany, dating back to the fifteenth century. Now in the 20th century til the present day, vintage dolls have become even more popular as a collectible item.
The comeback of vintage dolls to the doll industry
It’s true that vintage baby dolls were once considered creepy and ugly, which hindered their popularity in the last 20-30 years simply because they looked creepy and old. However these dolls are on the return and have a strong comeback on the collectors industry as a whole. Currently, people are so interested these days in owning a vintage doll from the 1920-30's period or earlier. They are no longer considered creepy or have a negative image like before- which is important for antique and vintage collectors. One could say that the sign of the times has evolved for accepting selective styles of that era. This is always something that many people cannot fathom, since vintage is specific to an exact period- so if the taste of the modern collector today. This age should be the minimum of 70 years, (but not limited to 100 years), and are preserved in a perfect or near perfect condition for the purpose collection for private collectors who like to have them on display in their home. According to these collectors, it represents a step back in time, reminiscing days long gone. The clothes, hair style, design and doll shoes all trace to the fashion of that period back in time. The classic antique doll is considered to be a real value to the modern generation, an aspect that by itself has led to the rise in the cost of the vintage doll. As the saying goes: Old is Gold, and prices are reflecting that dramatically.
Why they got so popular again
One thing that stands out more than anything is that recent films in the last decade have partly played a role in creating the proper atmosphere for wanting to own a vintage doll. Films such as “Anabelle” is an example that isn’t so memorable or respectful to the vintage industry but leaves an impression that these dolls have a history that we simply cannot understand, and a lot of backstory that leaves a lot to the imagination likewise. These types of dolls are also rare if you find them in good condition, which gives an idea that goes to the reason of their cost. The doll market; like any other market, is ruled by the law of supply and demand. The law of demand states that the lower the number is within a supply of a commodity, the higher the price will eventually be. Quality vintage dolls in mint condition are few and limited in supply with a huge volume of people seeking orders, a fact which greatly raises their cost. To purchase one could call for a tune of up to a couple hundred US dollars or more, however prices are always subject to change.
Watch out for price gouging...
Further from the price, is the idea that a vintage doll from the 1930’s that’s able to exist for a period of over 90 years -points to the quality of the materials used to design and make these dolls. It falls back on their durability and reliability which starts to head downhill after the 1930’s period in favor of cheaper and lower grade materials used to make dolls. For example, the rare composition of Canadian made vintage dolls made in 1940, is still proof that there’s a merchantable condition with no cracking or paint rubs- but to find one in mint condition will cost you dearly just because the materials were lower grade. There’s no middle road for getting a fair price. For most serious doll sellers, they choose to seek out estate sales or contact companies that specialize in liquidation auctions which would offer entire doll collections instead of buying them piece by piece. They treat them like gold and have special rooms to store them properly. Then there are those types who just want to make a buck. This is the result you commonly see on eBay where the seller is selling dozens of dolls at inflated prices well above the going market value and they are usually dubious enough if you know what to look for in anything vintage doll related. Not to mention that there happens to be a market for reproduction dolls which are copies made recently -which sell for just as much and are not vintage at all. These dolls are usually cheaper copies made in China and purposed for this market to fill the demand.