Barbie Remains a Living Doll

Little could Ruth Handler have realized that her first foray into the world of dolls would help create an America icon, a touchstone of cultural politics and one of the most amazing success stories in the history of children’s toys, all while laying the foundation for a hit movie—Barbie, naturally—starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, […]

Old Cloth Doll

Q:  I’ve had this cloth doll for 50 years. She was made about 1840 and was given to a little girl in 1845. Her face and hair are painted on and there is a circular seam on her head. She has leather shoes and her dress is original. I found a doll like this in […]

July 2021 Prices

ADVERTISING Dispenser, Curtis Baby Ruth Chocolate Fudge, warmer, removable china insert, flip top lid, tin body, red paint, aluminum Baby Ruth tag, ladle, paper tag on bottom, No. 3, instructions, Fountain Maid, Chicago, 9 x 6 in., $230 Tin, Thurber’s Best Yeast Power, revolving cylinder for different spices, lithograph, woman in oval, red & black, […]

Collectible Edition Dolls

Q: I have two dolls that belonged to my mother when she was very young. She was born in 1916. The dolls have porcelain faces and hands. One of the dolls is musical. It’s marked “Authentic Heritage Doll Collection.” It’s 18 inches tall, has blonde hair, and is in its original dress. The other doll is marked “B Brinn’s” on the back of her neck. She’s 15 inches tall. What can you tell me about them and what are they worth?

A: These are not antique dolls and your mother could not have played with them when she was young. Heritage and Brinn’s both made “collectible edition” dolls that look like antique dolls in the 1980s and 1990s. The faces are very modern looking. Compare this to a 19th-century porcelain doll head. Many are pictured online. The clothes are not authentic patterns either. Heritage Signature Collection dolls were made in China. Brinn’s, a company in Pittsburgh, sold musical and non-musical dolls, as well as ceramic figurines, head vases and giftware. Brinn’s dolls were made in Taiwan and Korea and sell for less than $25 today.

heritage doll collection

How to Buy or Sell — Dolls

Dolls are easy to sell, but hard to price. Rare old French and German dolls from the nineteenth century bring thousands of dollars and should be sold to a top doll dealer or through an auction gallery. Several galleries have sales devoted just to dolls. The major collectors, with the most money and the best […]


Dolls have been one of the top collectibles in the United States since the 1930s. Collectors pay very high prices for 19th-century dolls, especially large and well-dressed European dolls. But the supply is limited and many younger collectors search for dolls made in the last 75 years. Madame Alexander and Nancy Ann Storybook dolls, plus […]

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