Collecting antique dolls is a hobby that a lot of women grow into or would like to if they had the time or and the money. A collection of antique dolls in a gorgeous display case is a very attractive asset, but collecting antique dolls is not as easy as it may seem.

Well, to define that properly, it depends what you would like the antique dolls for. As with any hobby that has the capability to make the collector money, it is not easy to get it right, but if you only would like to enjoy your collection you will have an easier time of it.

Millions of women collect old dolls, but it is doubtful that any large number of them actually earn any money out of their hobby, because you have to study and the professional competition is fierce. It is the same as collecting coins or stamps: you can have a beautiful collection of pretty commemorative stamps or coins that is worthless in monetary terms, because there were too many of that sort or that year made, whereas you could have a collection of a dozen dreary stamps worth a million.

Therefore, if you want to begin a collection of antique dolls, the first thing to do is visit the library and get out some books on the subject. If there are no illustrations, you can almost certainly find some photos on the Internet in order to afford identification easier.

One of the first things you require to acquaint yourself with is the names of the most famous manufacturers of dolls in the 150 years of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Learn the names of the firms, the names of the dolls and an average cost.

If you come across what you think is a good deal at a car boot or yard sale, do not get put off by a shabby appearance. Many dolls lead a tough life, but they can be repaired pretty easily and there are many dolls’ hospitals if you need expert help, advice or specialist parts like eyes or buttons. The original clothing can be repaired or replaced and the doll would still be valuable if it is rare, popular or sought after.

You know, some things are not particularly rare but are still expensive because they capture the imagination of a great deal of individuals. Baby Boomer toys from the Fifties and Early Sixties will almost certainly acquire this status once the Boomers retire and perhaps begin a collection.

Look out for antiques fairs to help you acquire more first hand knowledge. There are frequently specialized antiques fairs in largish towns and one sort of fair is antique toys, in which the section on antique dolls is certain to feature fairly prominently. It is very practical to be able to see the dolls ‘in the flesh’ so to speak in order to know what you should be looking out for whilst browsing.

Books, photos and the Internet are useful resources, but there is no replacement for hands-on experience and talking with collectors and dealers who are fanatical about collecting antique dolls.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on a variety of subjects, but is now involved with Silver Cross Dolls Prams. If you would like to know more, please go over to our website at Doll Prams.