Doll collecting is one of the most popular hobbies around the world and while most collectors are women, many men also admire them, as much for their beauty as for the high level of skill involved in their creation. Antique dolls, in particular the porcelain dolls of the late 1800s, hold a certain allure and fetch incredibly high prices らぶどーる. However, for collectors whose bank balance will not accommodate such extravagances, reproduction antique dolls offer an excellent alternative.
Having edited a doll magazine for several years I soon came to admire and respect the work of present-day doll makers and their ability to reproduce the beauty of the most prized porcelain bisque dolls. The appeal of the antique dolls of the late nineteenth century remains strong today, although relatively few of those beauties have survived and fetch high prices. Comparatively, the reproductions produced today sell for a fraction of the price of their antique counterparts, but are equally appealing and represent high levels of skill and expertise.
Top doll makers today can create very worthy alternatives to the antiques, and in some cases their dolls outshine the originals. The painstaking detail given to the task of creating the lovely cherubic faces of the best antique dolls is quite outstanding. Sometimes even the number of hairs painted in the eyebrows or eyelashes is meticulously reproduced to exacting standards. The process of painting the bisque heads requires several stages of colouring and kiln firing. Then, once the doll itself is complete, it must be dressed appropriately in the style of the original dolls.
Many of the top doll makers regularly submit their work into competitions to be judged by experts in their particular field. Every aspect of the doll is scrutinized, from the painting, the wig, the style of costuming and it’s suitability for the doll. The rules for antique reproductions are very strict and must be adhered to in order to win the coveted awards. Fabric type and colour, as well as the sewing techniques and accessories must be appropriate to the era from which the antique doll originated.