Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Composition Dolls



According to "DollCollecting@About.com," composition dolls are made with "a mixture of wood pulp, sawdust, glue and similar items." These ingredients were mixed and then "formed using molds and allowed to harden. Composition dolls were then painted with a thick layer of flesh-colored paint. On top of the flesh paint went painted features, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, and lips.... On top of all of the paint went a layer of sealant or varnish to protect the painted features and seal the composition." (Wisegeek.com, 'What are Composition Dolls,"Katharine Swan) In some cases only the hands and head of the doll were made of composition; while the body may have been cloth and stuffing. Over time and particularly when exposed to a varied climate (hot and cold temperature shifts or humidity) the outer layer of paint on a composition doll can develop fine surface cracks called crazing.

This composition process seems a viable explanation of the make up of my non-cloth Chinese dolls. I am still uncertain, however, as to the actual substance of the under layer. I have some question as to whether it might be plastic. This would certainly date any doll with plastics coming in to use in the doll making process in the 1950's.


4 comments:

Jeana said...

I have 4 of these vintage dolls with tags..crazing on faces..adult oriental dolls with original clothes. Where can i find a place to price them..I would like just an idea of what they are worth.Can you help?
Thanks,
Jean

Jeana said...

Is there anywhere to find price info on these dolls..I have 4 adult oriental dolls with Tripod Mark cards on them..some crazing to faces.
Can you help?
Thanks,
Jean

Jeana said...

Is there anywhere i can get more info on these dolls..i have 4..definatly vintage..some crazing on faces..but cant get enough info..i would like to sell them..but have no idea where to look.
thanx,
Jean

Steph said...

Hi Jean! Sorry for the delay in your postings. I have to read them before they show up. I wish I could be more help. There is just not a lot of information out there. Worthpoint lists some sale prices, but you have to be a member to see them. I also check on ebay to see what dolls are selling for. Polly and Pam Judd's "African and Asian Costumed Dolls" puts similar ones at $25-40. It depends a lot on condition, and uniqueness. Another book that may have something is The "Encyclopedia of Regional Dolls of the World" (Fainges) if you can find it in the library.

Modern Dolls