Sep 132013
 
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This all celluloid girl is marked with a stork logo. At least three companies are known to have used a stork marking. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Celluloid is a type of early plastic. It was first used for dolls by the French in the 19th century, then adopted by the Germans and in the 20th century, by Japanese and American doll makers. While it showed great promise as a doll making material due to its low cost, light weight and moldability, celluloid is an extremely flammable substance. There were many tragic accidents both in the factory and with children at home. Once safer types of plastic began to be developed, celluloid was largely abandoned.

Celluloid dolls are somewhat fragile and are often found dented, cracked or shattered completely.

French made dolls

French celluloid Bebe Breton doll French celluloid Bebe Breton doll Bébé Breton has beautiful face paint and an elaborate outfit typical of French celluloid dolls. He was likely made by Petitcollin, the biggest and most well known French doll company, who made many souvenir dolls to be sold in different regions of the country.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Vintage Celluloid doll by Raynal Vintage celluloid doll by Raynal Raynal is best known for their beautiful cloth dolls made in the 1920s and ’30s, but their celluloid dolls are equally lovely. This girl is 19″ tall.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.


German made dolls

Vintage German celluloid doll This 25″ boy has a celluloid head and forearms on a cloth body.

Vintage celluloid Kewpie doll made in Germany Karl Standfuss had the rights to manufacture Rose O’Neill’s Kewpie dolls in celluloid. Some dolls were jointed at the hips as well as the shoulders.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Vintage celluloid boy doll Vintage celluloid boy doll This boy’s lederhosen suggest that he was probably made in Germany. He is marked with a bell logo.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Schildkrot celluloid doll Schildkrot celluloid doll Schildkrot (the German word for turtle) is the trade name for dolls made by the Rheinische Gummi- und Ceulluloid-Fabrik Co. Their logo is a turtle, and collectors who don’t want to attempt the German pronunciation call these dolls “turtle marks.” The majority of celluloid dolls in collections were made by this company.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller dreamalong.
Schildkrot celluloid doll Schildkrot celluloid doll This fat-bellied baby is another Schildkrot doll. He has an open mouth and sleep eyes, and a cryer.


American made dolls

Peter Pan celluloid rattle by Viscoloid Peter Pan celluloid rattle by Viscoloid (back) This Peter Pan doll is also a rattle. He was made by Viscoloid in 1923, and is 5/25″ tall.

Vintage celluloid baby doll by Viscoloid This small jointed baby is also by Viscoloid. He strongly resembles German dolls of the era. Viscoloid is better known for their holiday toys, including many Santas, Easter Bunnies and Halloween figures. They were in business through the 1930s.


Japanese made dolls

Vintage celluloid baby doll made in Japan Like the doll above, this Japanese baby also borrowed heavily from German designs.

Nippon Kewpie celluloid doll This Kewpie type doll is marked Nippon, indicating he was made no later than 1921.

Vintage celluloid doll made in Japan Vintage celluloid doll made in Japan (back) This doll is typical of the so-called “Betty Boop” types made in the 1920s.

Vintage celluloid football player doll Vintage celluloid football player doll This Yale football player has a celluloid head and cloth body.

Celluloid dolls made in Occupied Japan Celluloid dolls made in Occupied Japan This boy and girl pair are meant to represent Inuit children. They have jointed arms and legs and are marked “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN,” which dates them to between 1945 and 1955.

Vintage celluloid pirate doll made in Japan This pirate has a celluloid head, hands and feet, and a cloth body. His right hand is molded to hold a sword. Dolls with similar bodies were also made as football and baseball players.

Unknown Origin

Vintage doll with celluloid head and plush body Vintage doll with celluloid head and plush body This early 12″ doll has a celluloid head and mohair plush teddy bear type body. He may be German or American made.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Pair of vintage celluloid dolls This wonderful set includes a little boy and girl doll just 3.5″ tall.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Vintage celluloid Mickey Mouse doll Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters were made in celluloid.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.



Learn More:

cover
A Century of
Celluloid Dolls
by Shirley Buchholz
Find it on eBay
cover
Celluloid Dolls,
Toys & Playthings
by Julie Pelletier Robinson
Find it on eBay.
cover
Dolls & Accessories 1910-1930
by Dian Zillner
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard