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


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. )

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Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

Process & FAQ
 Process & FAQ

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The doll arrived and she is absolutely beautiful. You did an outstanding job on her, I was going to sell her but now I am definitely keeping her for my ...

Marianne Kerr
Composition fashion doll