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China Doll

Most older dolls have heads made of clay, mainly porcelain clay.

The clay is molded, then fired in a kiln, then it is painted and fired again, the biscuit firing, bisque dolls have been fired to the biscuit firing, then wigged, put on bodies and away they go!

The bodies for these dolls were made from carved wood peices or for a cheaper body, a composition mixture. This was molded into body parts and then strung with elastic to hold the whole doll together.  Composition was a mixture of glue, sawdust, paper or what ever the manufacturer might use for his secret formular for bodies.

Other, older dolls are “china head dolls”. These dolls start out the same way, but after the biscuit firing, another coat of clear glaze is added to the clay and the doll head is fired again. This process is very similar to your china dishes. 

Some china head dolls had wigs but many more had molded hair.  China head dolls often had cloth or leather bodies also. Because these heads were easily broken, it was very possible to go to a good toy store and buy a replacement head.

Many of our dolls have stories that go with them and to many of the people who come to our doll museum, the stories are the best part.

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Visit Playthings & Pastimes on Locust Hill in      Limerick, Maine