According to Olivia Bristol in her book "Dolls: a Collector's Guide", china dolls began to be manufactured in the early 1800s, mostly in Denmark, France and Germany. By the 1840s, porcelain doll heads were being mass-produced in Germany. If you have a china doll that has been passed down through the generations of your family, it could be a genuine antique. It may take some effort to establish how old your doll is, which helps work out how much it is worth.
Finding the value of china dolls
Work out whether your doll is a genuine antique china doll. Look for painted eyes rather than glass eyes and wigs of real human hair. A model number inside the doll's shoulder plate was a common marking on dolls made by Alt, Beck and Gottschalk. Apart from this, authentic china dolls should have no markings on their bodies.
Determine the condition of your doll, as this will have an effect on its value. Significant damage, such as large cracks and chips and missing fingers, will lower the value.
Browsing online auction or collectors sites may also help you find similar dolls; use search features to enter as much information and detail as you know about your doll to speed up the search process.
Visit antique stores. Show the owner your doll and ask her if she has or had anything similar. If so, check what its value is or was. China dolls from the early 1800s are the rarest and worth the most, while dolls from the 1930s and 1940s are worth the least as they were mass-produced. Certain details of the doll make it worth more, such as blonde hair, which is rarer.
Refer to the doll collector's "Blue Book" to find a value. This publication contains photographs, detailed descriptions and references that will help you find the value of your china doll.