olls with china heads have existed since about 1830. Their hairstyles help in dating them, as they reflect the way women wore their hair when the dolls were made. The appeal of these dolls lies, to a great extent, in their elegant, fashionable clothing.
Nineteenth-century dolls generally had cloth, wood or leather bodies. The early ones were usually adult females, although a few adult-male dolls are known. Dolls portraying children were produced from about 1880.
In the nineteenth century, young girls played with dolls much longer than they do today. There were fewer forms of entertainment for adolescent girls, and making elaborate costumes and accessories was an acceptable occupation for young ladies in Victorian times.