How to identify porcelain doll marks

Written by jewel johnson
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How to identify porcelain doll marks
Use care when trying to find the doll mark. (bambola image by from

Porcelain doll marks appear at the base of the neck, on the head, under the wig, along the shoulder, on the back, legs or on the feet. These marks identify the mould used for making the doll or the doll manufacture. Once you find the mark, you will want to know what the mark means. It's important to identify the mark accurately. Furthermore, consider enlisting the help of a professional appraiser. To accurately identify your porcelain doll mark, you'll want to take the following steps.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Doll
  • Doll Mark Reference guide
  • Magnifying glass
  • Digital camera
  • Internet access
  • Computer

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    Finding Mark

  1. 1

    Remove all clothing from your doll. Marks are normally hidden in an inconspicuous location, so you will have to examine your doll closely. Check for any tags on the body of the doll. Completely examine your doll. Look on the back of the neck, along the hairline, on the body and the bottom of the feet. Normally you will find the mark on the back of the doll or on the body.

  2. 2

    If your doll has its original doll clothes, turn each clothing item inside out and check for tags inside the clothing. Doll makers often include tags on the clothing.

  3. 3

    Use a magnifying glass to clearly see the mark on your doll. Some marks can resemble others, so examine carefully. All letters, numbers and symbols help to pinpoint who made your doll. Check to see if it's raised or indented because these facts will help determine the maker as well. Some marks will have the maker's name spelt out completely, and you will not have to research further, but many of the older dolls will not. If you plan to go to the library or somewhere where you won't have the doll with you, write the mark exactly as you see it.

  4. 4

    Check the doll reference online. It has an extensive list of doll marks that can help you identify the doll mark.

  5. 5

    Invest in a professional appraiser if you still cannot identify the porcelain doll mark. It's wise to get two appraisals. Take pictures of the mark, as well as the doll with and without clothes so you can give pictures to an appraiser. At International Society of Appraisers, you can find an appraiser in your area by putting in yourZIP code.

Tips and warnings

  • Some porcelain dolls do not have marks, but there still ways to identify your doll, either through extensive research, or you can hire an appraiser can help.
  • Know the history of your doll, the time frame you received it and who possessed it before you, all these pieces of information essentially help in accurately identifying the doll.
  • Handle your porcelain doll with the best of care. Any chips to the porcelain will bring the value down considerably.

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