Sunday, August 19, 2012

Parian Dolls

Originally made in England, Parian Dolls were manufactured primarily in Germany with the majority being made during the years of 1860 to 1880, and continued to be made into the 1930's.  Today many are made by reproduction artists.  These dolls are sometimes referred to as Dresden dolls because the quality of the porcelain is so fine.  The parian dolls are like China dolls in that the head, arms and legs are made of porcelain and the body is either cloth or leather.  Most parians are shoulder heads as the the head and shoulders are one piece.  Swivel heads, where the head and shoulder mold are separate, is considered very rare.  The primary difference between a parian and a china doll is  the parians are made of untinted porcelain that has not been glazed to have a shiny appearance, but has a matte finish.  Nearly all parian dolls have closed mouths.  The term Parian refers to the appearance of the fine white marble of Paros, Greece.  The United Federation of Doll Clubs accepted definition of the parian doll is: "Parian Doll:  made of fine white bisque (unglazed porcelain) without tinting.  The features, hair and cheeks may be  painted,"
Parian dolls range in size from seven inches to over two feet, with most being fourteen to twenty two inches tall.  The majority of parian dolls represent ladies and most have pierced ears.  Parian dolls can have glass or painted eyes with the ones with glass eyes being most sought after by the knowledgable collectors.
The hair is usually molded and painted blonde, with a few being brown or black.  Some will have a bald head and wear a wig, but they are rare.
Parians are known for their elaborate decorations with colored stones inset into the porcelain creating elaborate necklaces.  They are also decorated with molded combs, flowers, scarves and ribbons.  Some have elaborate molded collars or ruffs. molded hats or bonnets.
Most parian dolls are unmarked.  Most were made by the firms of Alt, Beck & Gottschalk, Hertel & Schwab, C. F. Kling, Simon & Halbig, Bahr & Proschild, and many others.  Parian dolls are some of the most beautiful dolls made.
The value of a parian doll with out decorations are usually valued at about a thousand dollars a piece.  If the parian has a rare hairdo or elaborate decorations they can be sold for several thousand dollars.  The main factor in valuing is the rarity of the hairdo and the decoration and  accessories, as collectors pay great attention to these.  Also the quality of the painting is also given much consideration.
I love my parian dolls.  I have in my collection a few low grade Parian dolls form the 1930's.  They were made in the Orient and imported and sold by Kimport Doll Company.  I am including on my blog pictures of my dolls.  They are not considered valuable as they can still be bought on e-bay very reasonably as kits.  My dolls although very pretty do not compare with the antique glass-eyed beauties, but I own them and I love them.  Most of the dolls were bought already put together, but have been dressed by me.  Following are the pictures of my parians.

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