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ARMAND MARSEILLE DOLLS & DOLLS HEADS - History and appraisal values

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 Armand Marseille DollARMAND MARSEILLE DOLLS originate from Thuringia, Germany, and were made from 1885 to about 1950. The founder, by the same name, came to Germany from Russia around mid-19thC. He soon acquired the toy factory of Mathias Lambert in Sonneberg and in 1885 expanded further by acquiring the porcelain factory of Liebermann & Wegescher in Koppelsdorf. The company later merged with another porcelain dolls manufacturer, Ernst Heubach in 1919, to form the United Porcelain Factory of Koppelsdorf. However, the two companies split in 1932 and both continued operations on their own for a few decades more.

Although a lot of production took place during the later part of 19thC, the vast majority of Armand Marseille dolls in the antiques market today were made between 1900 to 1930. It is very rare to find any Armand Marseille dolls that are unmarked and one should be very skeptical of such specimens. Almost all of their dolls were properly marked, but it is possible that some marks have either faded or are not easy to see. Practically all of these marks are incised or impressed, usually in a hand-written manner, and usually include the Model or Mold Number and/or size. At times, they also include the maker's marks of the company that produced the body they are attached to.

To this point and as many collectors know, Armand Marseille produced only the head of these dolls, in Bisque. Most are in the form of a baby or young child and some are "lady" or "character dolls". Some had painted eyes, but most were made using glass eyes. The body was subcontracted to other companies and it was usually made of different material, including Cloth, Stuffed Kid or Composition. Therefore, strictly speaking, Armand Marseille made Dolls Heads and as such are nowadays regarded as one of the best brands by collectors and fetch high prices at Auction.

Appraising Armand Marseille dolls is a bit tricky as a lot depends on condition and authenticity. Being essentially toys to be played with and in spite of the fact that most girls are more careful than boys their age, many have suffered severe damage, most often in the form of cracks or chips to the Bisque material. In these cases, professional restoration by someone experienced with antique dolls is the best course of action; DIY repairs are not recommended for prized collectible dolls such as these. In our experience, very few appear to be viciously mutilated, such as having their eyes or other features removed or destroyed, and it seems that they were almost always loved and cared for, but age-related wear happens and this is to be expected. In general, the larger the size and the rarer the Mold Number, the higher they appraise. Just for reference, the most common Mold Numbers are 370 and 390.

The best way to appraise Armand Marseille dolls - or any other antique dolls for that matter - is to find "comparables", i.e. similar dolls that sold at auction and compare prices. You can see several such examples below on this page. These are from our Antiques Price Guides..

To properly and accurately identify marks on Armand Marseille dolls or any other Porcelain or Bisque antique doll or doll's head, you can use our Porcelain & Pottery Marks Guides.

Examples of related items from our Price Guides

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  • An Armand Marseille doll with closing eyes
    and lace bonnet and dress. 29cm. ... [more like this]
    Base of neck marked AM Germany 341 the bisque head with closed mouth and glass eyes compositon body and bisque hands l: 12 in.; together with another Armand Marseille doll ... [more like this]
    390 Armand Marseille German bisque doll. German bisque head, open/close eyes, open mouth with teeth. German jointed compo body with wear, Unable to remove wig to light head. ... [more like this]
  • Five bisque head dolls: Five bisque head
    dolls, to include three Armand Marseille #341, with sleep eyes and stuffed body, K (star) R character doll #28, with painted eyes and closed mouth, and Grace Putnam with sleep ... [more like this]
  • A large Armand Marseille German bisque head
    doll with closing eyes, open mouth and jointed composition body (for restoring) £50-60 ... [more like this]
  • German Armand Marseille Doll AM 341 Dream
    baby. Brown sleep eyes. Closed pouty mouth. Dome head. Original body. Layered underclothes with white christening dress and bonnet. Excellent condition. Light cheek rub. 13" ... [more like this]
  • Armand Marseille doll with porcelain face
    and closing eyes, dressed in silk lace dress and bonnet, dated 1894, 21" long ... [more like this]
  • Darling Googly Doll. German bisque socket
    head incised “323 Germany A 11/0 M” by Armand Marseille, sleeping side-glancing eyes, painted lashes, closed smiling mouth, original mohair wig; original five-piece composition ... [more like this]
  • An Armand Marseille 1330 bisque-headed dollwith
    open and close blue eyes, open mouth, eye lashes and painted features, toddler body, the head impressed AM, Kopplesdorf, Germany 1330, A.3.M, 41cm (16in.) high, another Armand ... [more like this]
  • An Armand Marseille 390 bisque-headed dollwith
    open and close blue eyes, open mouth and painted features, fully jointed, original brown wig, the head impressed Armand Marseille, Germany 390, A 1 1/2 A, brown wig and sailor ... [more like this]
  • An Armand Marseille 390 bisque-headed dollwith
    open and close blue eyes, open mouth and painted features, the head impressed Made in Germany, Armand Marseille, 390, A6M, 51cm (20in.) high; a French Larnternia bisque-headed ... [more like this]
  • An Armand Marseille 390 bisque-headed dollwith
    open and close brown eyes, open mouth and painted features, jointed limbs, the head impressed Made In Germany, Armand Marseille, 390n, RGM, 24G/1, A.2.M, curly brown wig, ... [more like this]
  • Antiwue German bisque dome head dolls by
    Armand Marsaille and Hermann Steiner (lot of 3) Antique German dolls consisting of an Armand Marseille painted and molded bisque dome head baby doll with blue set eyes and ... [more like this]
  • An Armand Marseille bisque head baby doll
    with blue glass sleeping eyes, closed mouth, moulded hair, stuffed fabric body and celluloid hands, 22" high, marked "AM Germany", and an Armand Marseille bisque head baby ... [more like this]
  • German Armand Marseille Boy Doll Circa 1890's.
    German boy doll by Armand Marseille, Marked 390. Brown set eyes. Open mouth with teeth. Brown human hair wig. Composition body has original finsih and very good condition. ... [more like this]
  • A Handwerck bisque-head dollwith open and
    close blue eyes, open mouth, and painted features, jointed body, the head impressed Handwerck, Germany, 0.1/4, 41cm (16in.) high, an Armand Marseille baby bisque-headed baby ... [more like this]
  • A Kestner 221 bisque-headed character dollwith
    open and close brown eyes, open mouth and painted features, jointed body, original mohair wig, the head impressed Made in Germany, J.D.K., 211, original yellow cotton print ... [more like this]
  • A SFBJ 60 bisque-headed dollwith open and
    close brown eyes, open mouth and painted features, jointed body, the head impressed SFBJ 60, Paris 2, 48cm (19in.) high, an Armand Marseille, shoulder bisque doll with open ... [more like this]
    DOLL, #323 having brown wig, blue glass sleep eyes, painted features, closed mouth, on composition body; nicely dressed. Head marked: Armand Marseilles, Germany, #323, A6/0M. ... [more like this]
  • Ten Dolls, including a small bisque head
    doll with closed mouth and painted eyes, two Asian dolls, a small bisque headed doll in tartan dress, a German Armand Marseille bisque headed doll stamped A M 30011/10 with ... [more like this]

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