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It's called "china" because that is where the pottery originated.
Do not remove or destroy any clothing from a china head doll, no matter how poor the condition: clothing can offer many clues to the doll's age.China head dolls are those dolls with head, neck, and shoulders (also called shoulder plates) made from china.Sometimes, the lower legs, feet, hands, and arms were also made of china.They could be very tiny (about the size of a modern penny), a few inches tall, or more rarely, 10" or more: the name came from a folk song about a girl who didn't dress warmly enough on a sleigh ride and froze to death.Rarity is difficult to define, but can mean an object which comes up for sale only only or twice every decade and has collectors willing to pay highly for it.China head dolls had painted faces and molded hair, although Biedermeier dolls, or dolls from an era in German history that overlapped with the English Regency from around 1815-1848, often required a wig.
The time period became associated with this style of doll and many dealers use the term to refer to these wigged dolls from the previously mentioned dates.China was imported from the East to Europe, until the secret of porcelain making was revealed, and Germany started to produce fine china in its own factories.By the first part of the 19th centuries, china head dolls were claiming their place in the home.Just a few well-known china head doll manufacturers among the dozens who produced them included: American companies, along with other German, French and Czech factories also produced dolls, but, as previously mentioned, many of the dolls were unmarked and little is known about the smaller companies.Collectors Weekly notes that from the 1860s until the 1930s or so, millions of china head dolls were made and sold, and are still popular in the antiques marketplace.As china manufacturing methods became more dependable, china head dolls started to fully enter the market by the 1830s according to Collectors Weekly. In Europe, dolls china factories began to turn out dolls resembling the young Queen Victoria after she took the throne.