Monday, February 14, 2011

Collecting Small Vintage Bisque And Ceramic Dolls And Figurines.

Adorable Charming Vintage Bisque Dolls And Figurines To Fall In Love With

How could you not fall in love with these cute couples ? Made out of ceramic or bisque these collectibles are often referred to as figurines or small dolls. While many of these novelty items were imported from Japan as inexpensive gifts, they are now tugging at the heartstrings of many collectors and becoming a popular collectible.

Small Bisque Dolls Were Toys Not Shakers

Often these tiny figurines look just like salt and pepper shakers, but they do not have holes. Many of these dolls and were probably sold as toys and not kitchen-wares. If you are really lucky you may come across an original boxed set with 4,6 or 8 or more dolls inside. Some people call these small dolls "Frozen Charlotte" dolls but they are really not the same. But you will see them listed on eBay and elsewhere with that term. You may have to use search words like "small bisque dolls", "Made In Japan figurines", "ceramic figurines". etc.

Collecting One Small Vintage Bisque Doll At A Time

I have been collecting small vintage figurines and dolls for awhile now, adding these sweeties to my home studio display whenever I can. While I like to pair the dolls together as "couples" , many of my marriages have been made by me . I often acquire the cowgirl without the cowboy or the groom without his bride. So I make a couple out of two similar dolls and they seem to like their pals.

Expanding My Collection Top Include Cute Vintage Images of Children On Book Covers And Toy Boxes

Don't kid yourself , small bisque dolls and ceramic figurines are not easy to find. So to keep from getting too frustrated, I have had to expand my "cute couple collection" to vintage Toffee tins, boxed game covers, book covers and even Paint By Number pictures. But all of these additional objects still have sweet images of children or puppies or both.

All My "Children" Must Get Along Together

The secret ingredient that attracts me to my "objects of desire" (my stuff) is that my "couples" are all very small and they must get along well together. One way I "couple" my couples might be to place two of my small bisque ceramic dolls or figurines in front of an older book from the 1920s or 1930s , using the delightful image on the book cover as a colorful background for my little figurines which are only a few inches tall.

How My Collection Of Small Vintage Dolls And Figurines Began

My collection started when I brought home some bisque children or dolls from a dealer who had quite a few in her shop. She parted with them for $8.00 a piece and I was thrilled to have them.

Buying "Better" Small Bisque Dolls

My starting collection included several vintage figurines of children playing musical instruments, a bisque solo cowboy small doll, a lonely bisque groom and other adorable small bisque dolls of children looking very 1930s and 1940s. I originally thought that when I paid $8.00 a piece I was splurging, but I have since learned that I did alright at the time. Bisque dolls are priced much higher. I bought my first "better" couple a few weeks ago and paid $36.00 (and that was at a bargain price). They are shown here wearing the handmade outfits.

But after the first six of these small dolls, I really have been struggling to find more. But slowly I am building my collection and widening the parameters of what can be included in the collection of adorable "couples" . The red, black and white ceramic figurines above are a bit larger than the other dolls (teenagers). But they were so cute and go well with my collection.

So dear readers if you have more sweeties to add to my collection....please let me know. How about Ohio Art Tea sets, wouldn't they look great as well with my "children"?

Boxed set photo courtesy of
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. LOVED my first visit to you blog SO MUCH I have signed on to FOLLOW YOU! I Love vintage goodies. They bring such fond memories back to me... I also LOVE the hunt as much as the thrill of what it MAY BRING! I'm hoping you will peek in on my blog and MAYBE like it enough to FOLLOW ME TOO!
    Have a wonderful week,
    Hugs, Donna

  2. Oh My Goodness! I'm in Roxbury CT and I absolutely think that Collinsville is "THE BEST"! I have probably bought from you. Every time someone comes to visit here, YOU are one of the 'MUST SEE PLACES"!!! "Super Hugs Neighbor", Donna

  3. Very sweet collection and I'll keep a lookout for you! I don't see them much either while I'm out and about. Just never know.

  4. I have a small bisque doll with a crocheted dress. I'll have to send a photo to you as I'm not even sure if it's old or not. If she is old (or not), you're welcome to her!

  5. I just love this blog and this particular post! I just received a mermaid bisque doll, as a gift (not painted) and I cherish her with all my heart!
    Smiles, Cyndi

  6. Hi whilst out walking tonight I came across a white figure upside down in the mud. Having cleaned it I noticed the word JAPAN 2. Hours of internet research led me to this blog where a photo resides of her. Girl holding a book with large collar. I have a picture of her, shall I email it?

  7. My grandmother used to have a large collection of porcelain figurines. I can't seem to find them anywhere. I am looking into purchasing a small collection to remember my grandma.

  8. This ceramic bisque looks amazing! Did you make these by hand or by mold?