Antique Dolls Imported from Europe
Decoration   Decoration

Dolls with wax or china heads were imported from Europe in the early nineteenth century for the families who could afford such luxuries. People of lesser means had to wait until the 1880s or 1890s to enjoy commercially made dolls. China head dolls and peg woodens became available for a few pennies at the end of the century.

By 1892, the Eaton's catalogue featured a variety of bisque dolls, with or without clothing, as well as china dolls. The 1900 catalogue included dolls with bisque, china or metal heads, celluloid dolls, miniatures, doll carriages and the first Eaton's Beauty doll. Dolls with bisque heads and either leather or composition bodies remained popular until the Second World War.

Decoration   Decoration

D-2336 - Photo: S. Darby Bisque head, composition body

ca. 1895
Body by Heinrich Handwerk, head by Simon & Halbig
Waltershausen, Germany
Gift of Mrs. W. D. Gamble in memory of Canadian contralto Joanne de Nault Shaw
CMC D-2336


Bisque head (#154), leather body

ca. 1895
J. D. Kestner, Germany
CMC D-8941


D-8941 - Photo: S. Darby
D-6474 - Photo: S. Darby Bisque head (#117n), composition body

ca. 1911
Kämmer & Reinhardt, Germany
CMC D-6474


981.6.1.1-5 - Photo: H. Foster
Dionne Quintuplets

Madame Alexander Co., U.S.A.
Childhood dolls of Florence Bogg, Trenton, Ontario
CMC 981.6.1.1-5


Queen Anne style doll

1750 or earlier
Wooden head, torso, legs and forearms, cloth upper arms
Dressed in a 19th-century gown with
beaded and embroidered cap (1850?)
Courtesy of Mary Alice Thacker

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L2552.004 - Photo: H. Foster

What is a Doll? | Inuit Dolls from Prehistory to Today | First Nations Dolls
Settlers' Dolls - Dolls Made at Home | Antique China and Parian Dolls
Antique Dolls Imported from Europe | Eaton's Beauty Dolls
The Birth of the Canadian Doll Industry | The Heyday of the Composition Doll
The Vinyl Doll Era | Canadian Original Doll Artists | Mechanical Dolls | Web Sites | Credits