China Doll Bodies

China Doll Body Size

 

china doll body size

Don’t know what china doll body size to buy? In choosing the right body size for your china doll, a simple rule of thumb is that  the head is 1/4th the size of the finished body.  To determine what size you need, the torso is twice the height of the head and so are the legs.  Example: head size 2 inches, torso is 4 inches, legs are 4 inches = finished doll of 10 -11 inches.

As a proportion guide, the chest is rather triangular, while the hips are more slim. 

When china doll heads were first sold, the arms and legs were sold separately so it was common to see large differences in the china doll body size.  The details of the china doll body also were directly related to the skill of the seamstress sewing and putting together the body.

 

Learning China Doll Bodies

In the 1890’s,china doll companies were trying hard to compete with the NEW  bisque head, ball-jointed, and leather body dolls by marketing printed bodies and printed names (1905) with the Lowbrow shoulder plate china heads.  Called the  Learning Body china head, and  produced for only a few years, the dolls were curly haired Lowbrows and Pet Name model china heads (1905 by Hertwig). The bodies were themed with nursery rhyme verses, the alphabet, historical themes like Boxer Rebellion and maps of the US, states and the world.  Below  are 3 samples for china learning bodies. Printing on the alphabet fabric is 1/4″.  The moral fabric is similar in scale. Fabric is 100% cotton, hard packed with sawdust* and comes with china arms and booted heeled legs. 
*Sawdust is from pure  wood, not composite materials such as plywood or medite that may contain chemicals,  fillers or glues. 
(Please specify width and height of head or for best fit, send your head.  Antique child will attach your head to the new body FREE of charge. )

learning alphabet body 1890 china head

ALL ORIGINAL Learning Alphabet Body 1890 China Head

Alphabet fabric colored letters, tan background

Alphabet fabric colored letters

 

Learning china doll fabric moral phrases

Learning china doll fabric moral phrases

Alphabet fabric tan background

Learning China Doll Body
Fabric Selection
Please state shoulder width & total head height

China Doll Body

Almost all china doll bodies were made of cloth.The booted legs for early ones had a flat foot with low shoe made of china or leather.  The arms were  also made of china or leather.  Leather was preferred because it did not break, but over timethe leather deteriorated to become quite frail.

china doll leg

flat boot china doll leg

china doll spoon arms

china doll spoon arms with straight hand for early dolls

china doll leather arm

china doll leather arm

 

china leather arms

Sample leather arms, unstuffed

china doll early body

china doll early body with leather arms and boots

Typical leather boots for a post1860 china doll with a slight heel and boot buttons. IMG_0732 china doll  leathershoes
China dolls from 1880 to 1930had heeled boots and
cupped hands that were larger and more formed than earlier hands.
IMG_3171 IMG_3166
 China doll bodies of the 1890 – 1930

china doll body

Typical china doll bodies of the 1890-1930

IMG_0730

1890 china doll with a learning body. This one has the alphabet on it.

Standard China Doll Body
Please state shoulder width & head total height

IMPORTANT Details about ordering a china doll body –

When you order a china doll body it is made to order and is  made using 100% cotton unbleached muslin, hard stuffed with sawdust*.  

There are two distinct styles for china dolls. Early china dolls had arms with slender  fingers and thumb straight (spoon hands).  Some did not have a thumb so the the arm was universal, able to be used for left or right.  Their shoes were flat soled with no heel. Their bodies were hour-glass in shape.

Starting in the 1860’s dolls were wearing shoes with heels but the arms were still the spoon hands type.  

The 1880 china doll had  chubbier arms with the hands and fingers bent. They also wore heeled boots.   Their torso was not longer hour-glass, but more straight, like a child. 

A blond china doll body often featured  boots that were brown, rather than black, however both black and brown boots were found on both blond and black haired dolls.  When china dolls were first marketed it was common for the customer to purchase the head, arms and legs separately, so many combinations existed.  The customer would then fabricate the body, so a wide variety of body proportions resulted.   The larger china heads generally had leather boots and leather arms because the porcelain  would often clank together and break.  The cloth or leather arms and legs worked well against breakage. 

****China arms and legs for the doll bodies are generally reproduction, unless specifically requesting antique parts, which are more expensive to acquire.  Reproduction parts are made of china in various shades of white, per maker of part.  I do not make parts so must acquire them on the secondary market.   In fabricating a china doll body, Antique Child makes every effort to utilize the most appropriate parts for the body you order.  After you have ordered a body size to fit the china doll head you have and provided the size of the head, every effort is made to make the body to fit your head.  The finished product size might be slightly different than the size ordered.

****Sawdust is from pure  wood, not composite materials such as plywood or medite that may contain chemicals,  fillers or glues. (Please specify width and depth of head or for best fit, send your head.  Antique child will attach your head to the new body FREE of charge. )

Dotter Corset China Body

Dotter corset china body for china dolls
The Dotter corset china body was invented by Charles Dotter in the 1880’s, this lace trimmed corset is part of the Dotter Replica  Corset  China  body, only on the front. The body features sewn on boots & striped socks.  Base material of the body is 100% unbleached muslin, hard stuffed with sawdust*.
*Sawdust is from pure  wood, not composite materials such as plywood or medite that may contain chemicals,  fillers or glues. (Please specify width and depth of head or for best fit, send your head.  Antique child will attach your head to the new body FREE of charge. )
Dotter Replica China Doll Body
Please state shoulder width & total head height

China Doll Body – Leather Boots – Leather Arms

China doll body with leather arms and boots

China doll with leather boots & leather arms

china doll body leather boots

Sample of leather boots with striped socks

Leather china doll boots

Leather boots in red

china leather arms


China Doll Body -Leather Options



Fabric selections for china doll socks
Sample fabric selections for china doll lower legs

 

Many of the larger china dolls had leather arms and leather boots.  This was used, mainly to eliminate weight from the doll and possible breakage that occurs when the doll is dropped or the pieces clank together.  

The custom body is stuff with sawdust* .   The body can be ordered with both arms and legs of kid leather or china arms and kid leather boots.  Custom socks are also offered in black or colored stripes or pillow ticked and will be selected to be in scale with body proportions.

***Sawdust is from pure  wood, not composite materials such as plywood or medite that may contain chemicals,  fillers or glues.  (Please specify width and depth of head or for best fit, send your head.  Antique child will attach your head to the new body FREE of charge. )

***** Please read IMPORTANT details regarding ordering and size specifications

 

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SEND TO

ANTIQUE CHILD DOLL RESTORATION
Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

Process & FAQ
 Process & FAQ

CLICK here to find out how the process works from sending your doll, completion time, payment info and shipping.

Testimonials

I was in shock you could put all those pieces back together so beautifully. . . unbelievable work. Sheryl Riley

Sheryl Riley