Collecting Antique Dolls

If our Toy Collection List sparked your interest–and you liked the suggestion about finding a niche–it may be that you’ve chosen collecting antique dolls as one of your new hobbies. It’s true what they say: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure–and the same seems to be true in regards to collecting antique dolls. While some may find them boring or even a tad frightening (think of the horror movie…the antique doll coming to life) many people find them to be the complete opposite of boring and frightening. Yes, antique dolls may be scary to some, but they can also be reminders of a childhood, fascinating relics, and yes, even worthwhile investments. But even if antique dolls are your sort of thing, there are still a few things you’ll need to know before beginning your collection. Like, for instance:

victorian antique doll

Where to Find Antique Dolls

Antique dolls aren’t always easy to find. They seem to be hiding in the most unusual corners. The good news is that they can be found at some reliable places. Like the following:

Auctions –

Auctions are one of the best places to find antique dolls. In general, there are two sorts of auctions: online or live. For a live auction, you may need to travel to get there–but hey, it’s often (or perhaps always) worth the trip. Live auctions are exciting. Plus, they allow you to connect with other doll collecting hobbyists.

Online auctions, like Ebay, can be great for beginning doll collectors. You don’t have to travel, for instance. However, you want to be cautious about buying dolls online because you won’t be able to look the doll over in person before buying it. Most Ebay sellers are honest, but there are the occasional bad eggs. Use caution.

One of the premier doll auctioning companies is called Theriault’s, so visit their site to learn more about both live and online auctions.

cracked paint on antique doll

Specialty Dealers –

Check around your town to find out whether or not there are any specialty doll dealers located near you. You may get lucky and find a dealer ready to sell, or you may simply make a few other doll-crazy friends. Either way, it can’t hurt. Also check out online sites, such as

Antique Stores, Garage Sales, and Grandma’s Attic

These aren’t always the first places to look, but it certainly can’t hurt! If you’re lucky enough to find an antique doll at a garage sale, then you’ll have bragging rights for a long, long time. Plus, grandma needs her attic cleaned out anyway, right? You can’t go wrong when it comes to hunting down antique dolls.

antique doll with eyes open

Now that you know where to find dolls, you’re probably wondering how to tell if you’re getting a good deal, or how to know what all the lingo used in the doll world actually means. If this is the case, stay tuned for our upcoming articles in our series on antique dolls.