Studying and Making Antique Dolls

When I first started making dolls almost a doll maker gave me a list of books to get that would be good to study. At that point I'd never heard of Izannah Walker!

So how do you make an antique inspired doll? Well, first you study antique dolls. Going to museums and antique doll shops is helpful so you can see them in the round. But reading books and looking at pictures can give you a wealth of information. You can check them out of the library before buying through inter-library loan here in the United States.. Once you know you want to own a book Amazon is a great place to find them used. Sometimes books will show up on Ebay for pennies, so it's good to do a search for doll making books there, too.

Cloth Dolls from Ancient to Modern - Linda Edward - Excellent book! A must have.

American Folk Dolls - Wendy Lavitt - another must have!

American Rag Dolls Straight from the Heart - Estelle Patino

The Doll by Carl Fox - an older out of print huge book with lots of information.

A Celebration of American Dolls - primarily a look at the Strong Museum collection

Wonderful Dolls of Papier Mache - Gerken - an older book with very few color pictures but the information is outstanding.

German Papier-Mache Dolls 1760-1860 - Christiane Grafnitz - Wonderful book! Now out of print but not hard to find on Ebay or Amazon. If you look on Amazon for Papier Mache Puppen it's essentially the same book with a different ISBN number.

The Collector's Book of Dolls' Clothes: Costumes in Miniature 1700-1929 - Dorothy S., Elizabeth A. and Evelyn J. Coleman....out of print and pricy but a great resource to have. Keep a watch on Ebay and Amazon.

Anything by John Darcy Noble

Another way to learn about antique dolls is by attending the University of Google. Take the time to really, really look. Also, check out what's for sale on Ruby Lane and Ebay in the antique doll sections. Visit doll shops like Carmel Doll Shop which have online catalogs. Read other people's blogs...often they're sharing about what they're learning.

Maybe you know of a great book or resource that's been helpful in making antique inspired dolls? Please leave a comment. We can all learn from one another. If you recommend a book please tell why you recommend it. I'll add suggestions to the "recommended books" section. ~ Dixie


  1. Thanks for sharring. I have some more books to add to my want list now.

  2. Wonderful Blog. Dr. E's Doll Museum, author of A Bibliography of
    Doll and Toy Sources 2011 and With Love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Dolls and Automatons 2013.


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