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What Are Some Tips for Collecting Dolls?

Doll collecting can be a fruitful and fun activity for adults and children, and taking care of rare and expensive dolls helps to safeguard their value. Begin by choosing a focus for the collection, deciding which types and styles of dolls you want. Know what to look for when collecting, such as which dolls are most rare and what condition they should be in. Also, know when to spend money on a doll that adds value and significance to your collection.

How Should You Store Dolls?

If you don't properly store and care for your dolls, they can become damaged and lose their value. Avoid placing the dolls in natural light, which can fade clothing and accessories. It is also a good idea to avoid fluorescent lighting, as that damages vinyl dolls. Keep the dolls away from smoke, and clean them regularly to get rid of dust and dirt. If there are pets in your home, make sure to keep dolls on a high shelf or in a closed room so that the pets do not damage them. Although you should not store dolls in airtight plastic containers, it is important to store them in closed cabinets away from extreme heat and cold. Keep bugs such as moths away, and inspect the dolls regularly to look for evidence of bugs.

How Can You Identify a Doll?

Not all dolls are identifiable, although you can easily spot markings and certain design qualities that give you a general idea of the era in which a manufacturer produced the doll. Using a magnifying glass and a doll reference book, begin looking for markings on the back of the head, the feet, and the torso. You should also take note of the doll's size, materials, and design details. Cross-reference your observations with a doll reference book to determine the manufacturer using the markings found. Some dolls state the manufacturer name and a mold number, although many antique dolls only have a mold number and symbol representative of a manufacturer.