Antique dolls are “Michele’s Originals”

cont cloth dolls

Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: I have two antique dolls with paper and also wood tags that say “Michele’s Originals.” One is marked Hannah #2/250 signed Michele M and the other Christine #2/250 signed Michele M. They are old cloth dolls with painted faces and both faces have crazing. Someone told us they are worth thousands.

A: Using all of my reference resources, doll books and doll magazines I was unable to locate any information on a doll artist “Michele M”. I was able to locate brief information on “Michele’s Originals” based in Arizona.

Looking at the photographs of your dolls I can tell that these are contemporary dolls made to look old. Special painting and antiquing techniques make the paint on the cloth face look old and worn. This is to mimic antique painted cloth doll faces.

Another way to tell that these are contemporary is by looking at the clothing and the evenness of the brown color. The clothing has been dyed in tea to give it a vintage look. Whereas, if the clothing was old, the brown would be spotty and very random. The construction of the clothing is another indication that these are not antique or old dolls.

The tags are also another giveaway that these are contemporary pieces.

While I was unable to locate information on the doll artist due to my lifetime of doll collecting and selling, limited edition artist dolls such as this can sell for $350-$400.

If the doll artist were someone of note they would sell for at least double that price.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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