Deutsches Haus Newsletters
Doll collecting is now the second biggest
hobby in the United States. Stamp collecting is number one. If you are
new to doll collecting, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips from
Gary Sowatzka I think you may find interesting and useful
on Doll Collecting
Courtesty of Gary G. Sowatzka
Many people have a special doll from their
childhood and want to find out more about that doll. Many others have
always loved dolls and want to know more about them. Here are a few
easy tips to follow when beginning to collect these little treasures.
Collect what you like. When you start collecting
you may find yourself looking at any doll as a doll to purchase, and
this will be fine to a point, but you want to know that you are going
to like your collection once you have put the effort into obtaining
your dolls. Many people collect dolls not because they are going to
be worth a lot of money, but because they think they are beautiful and
they look like their children or simply because the dolls make them
smile. Whatever the reason, learn as much as you can about the antique
or collectable dolls that are available so your collection will be wonderful
to see and share with others.
The first step in collecting anything,
especially dolls is to get educated. This is easier than it sounds.
Sowatzkas Dolls carries a full line of books designed to educate
both the novice and the serious doll collector. See Books
and Reference materials for more information.
There are a few basic types of dolls every
collector should be able to identify:
Tips for Successful Doll Collecting
Collect what you like.
Don't spend your time, money and effort
to fill your house with something you don't like or for the sake of
profit. If you like antique dolls try and stay in this area. Stick
with what you like, and both your interest and collection will grow.
Educate yourself. Learn
to tell the difference between real antique dolls, good reproductions,
and bad reproductions. The books listed in the Books and Reference
Materials are a good place to start. Once you learn how to identify
dolls, it will become much easier to make decisions on which dolls
to buy and which ones to pass on.
Set your goals. Do
you want a small collection of rare exceptional dolls? Do you want
a collection that is simply pleasing to look at? Are you going for
quantity to fill a show room or parlor? Is this an investment or a
hobby? Depending on your goals, your tactics for finding and collecting
dolls will be as different as the types of dolls you can collect.
Garage Sales and Estate Sales.
weekends visiting area sales. Even if you don't see dolls, ask. Many
people would never think anybody would be interested in buying their
dolls. It is also a good way to make connections. They may not have
any dolls, but they may know someone who does.
Beware of Overpricing.
This goes along with being educated. Because doll collecting is becoming
popular, some dealers think that if it is an old doll, it is worth
a lot. A lot of bisque dolls look beautiful and valuable, but they
were over produced, which makes them less valuable. Know what you
are buying and it's value. Being aware of the tendency of some dealers
to overprice. This will save you time, money and heartache.
Look at what you are buying.
Look for rub marks, where some of the paint has been rubbed off, hairline
cracks, chips, torn clothing, cracked leather bodies, or any other
damage. Any of these things decrease the value of a doll. Many people
believe a cracked bisque head is worthless, but if you are buying
for pure aesthetics, this may be an inexpensive way to add to your
collection. See Grading
Dolls for more information.
Look For Diamonds in the
Rough. Many fine dolls are found in pieces. A knowledgeable doll
doctor can repair minor problems for a reasonable fee. Your local
doll shop can also assist you with appropriate clothing, eyes, wigs
and bodies. So, if you find a beautiful head, you can salvage the
majority of its value. Remember, 60% of the value is in the head on
an antique doll.
Visit Good Will and other
Thrift shops. Many
people donate valuable dolls and without realizing what they are giving
Doll Shows. Going
to shows is a good way to find dolls. You may not find many great
deals, dealers at shows usually know what they have and what it is
worth. Fortunately though, shows are a great place to learn. You can
gain valuable information by seeing dolls in person. You can only
learn so much from pictures in a book. In addition to learning what
particular dolls look like, you will get a feeling for the market
value of some of your favorite dolls.
Ask Questions. Go
to your local doll shop and ask questions, get appraisals done, and
inquire about dolls that you have and want. Many doll collectors and
dealers love talking dolls. You never know what you'll learn unless
Collect a variety. Try
to avoid buying all one size or style of doll. A good doll collection
has a variety of sizes, styles, ethnicity's and values. Buy small
dolls to fill in gaps in showcases, baby dolls for that special child's
cradle, and large dolls for a prominent showpiece. Dolls of different
origins can also represent family heritage, and add special meaning
to a collection.
Good Reproductions. Many
people love the style of antique dolls, but can't afford them. Buying
good reproductions is an alternative that you may want to consider.
Remember, dolls made today are the antiques of the future.
Gary also will appraise your doll for you. Click
here for more information.