Oct 122012

No history of vintage dolls could be written without Horsman. A native of New York City, E. I. Horsman began retailing toys and novelties imported from Germany in the mid-1800s. As the new century dawned, his company began producing its own cloth and composition dolls.
Click on a photo to see a larger version.

Babyland Rag Topsy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy doll by Horsman The Babyland Rag series of dolls ranged from 11″ to 30″ tall. They have hand painted faces and mitten style hands. Most of them, like this black doll called Topsy, are 14″ tall. They first appeared in Horsman’s 1893 catalog and were produced for over 30 years.
Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman Babyland Rag Topsy Turvy doll by Horsman The Babyland Rag Topsy-Turvy doll has two heads – a white doll called Betty, and the black doll, Topsy. The long skirt hides the head on the opposite end.
Babyland Rag lithographed girl doll by Horsman Babyland Rag lithographed boy doll by Horsman In 1907, Horsman began offering Babyland Rag dolls with lifelike lithographed faces. Another style with a three-dimensional molded face was outsourced to Albert Bruckner, a New Jersey dollmaker. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Composition Campbell Kid doll by Horsman Composition Campbell Kid doll by Horsman The composition Campbell Kid dolls, adapted from illustrations by Grace Drayton, were a huge seller for Horsman. The black doll is the earlier version from the 1910’s and ’20s with cloth body and compo hands. The white doll is the 1940s all-compo version. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Horsman Jackie Coogan composition doll Horsman Jackie Coogan composition doll Jackie Coogan was a child actor of the 1920s who starred in the film “The Kid” with Charlie Chaplin. Horsman made two different versions of him in composition. This version has Jackie’s well known pageboy hair style, the other one has just a standard head that was also used for other dolls.

Composition Baby Dimples by Horsman Baby Dimples was a big seller for Horsman starting in 1927. She is a bent-leg baby with a composition head and limbs, and cloth body. There was also a version with a celluloid head imported from Germany. A straight-leg all composition toddler version called simply Dimples.

Dolly Rosebudy by Horsman Dolly Rosebud by Horsman Dolly Rosebud, introduced in 1928, has a composition shoulder head and limbs, with a cloth torso and a human hair wig. She was made in multiple sizes from 14″ to 24″. This doll’s dress is tagged “HORSMAN DOLL MF’D in U.S.A.”

Flirty-eyed composition baby doll by Horsman Babies have always been a huge part of Horsman’s lineup. This flirty-eyed baby, advertised in the 1942 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog, has eyes that move from side to side as well as open and close.

Horsman Baby dolls in 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog These babies, advertised in the 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog, have hard plastic heads and softer vinyl bodies.

1950s Horsman Gold Medal Boy doll 1950s Horsman Gold Medal Boy doll Horsman used the name Gold Medal multiple times over the years. This Gold Medal Boy, also called Fairy Skin Boy was sold in the 1950s. He has a one piece body jointed only at the neck. There was a corresponding girl doll as well.
1950s Horsman Cindy glamour doll 1950s Horsman Cindy glamour doll High-heeled Cindy was a major part of Horsman’s lineup in the late fifties. She was available as a 15″ or 18″ doll with a stuffed vinyl body, jointed only at the neck and shoulders, with ball-jointed elbows; and as a 21″ doll with a rigid vinyl body, jointed at the hips as well. She was sold in various costumes, including as a bride and as a ballerina. She was also sold under other names including Bright Star.
See also:

Vintage 10" Cindy glamour doll by Horsman There was a 10″ version of Cindy as well, similar to Ideal’s Little Miss Revlon doll. She was available in a variety of outfits and trunk sets.
Family Trio set of dolls by Horsman Horsman’s Family Trio Set includes a glamorous mother doll with two children. Read more about them on the Family Trio page.
Horsman Jackie doll Horsman’s Jackie was sold in the early ’60s to capitalize on the popularity of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Go to the Horsman Jackie page to learn more about her. Photo courtesy of John Medeiros.

Horsman Peggy Ann doll 1963 This doll in the 1963 Sears Toy book is unnamed, but she appears to be Horsman’s Peggy Ann, a vinyl sub-teen girl doll with a sweet smile. She was sold for several years, often in sets like this with extra outfits.
Miss Top Knot doll by Horsman This is Miss Top Knot from 1964. Read more about her here. Photo courtesy of Charlene Blank.

One of Horsman’s most popular vinyl dolls is Poor Pitiful Pearl, a homely doll who wears a floral dress with a bright red patch on the front, and a matching red head scarf. Originally produced by the Brookglad Corp. in the ’50s, Horsman began making Pearl in late 1963 in 18″ and later 11″ size, and brought her back again in the 1970s.

Action Bed by Horsman from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks Action Bed by Horsman from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks This Action Bed toy was a tie-in to the Disney film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” released in 1972. It includes a 6.5″ doll representing the character played by Angela Lansbury in the movie. A hard to find item, it is also sought after by Disney collectors. Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. Check out Lisa’s eBay listings.

Horsman began making ventriloquist dolls in the 1970s, and continued with its successful lines of play dolls. In the 1980s, the company struggled, but eventually found renewed success by focusing on niche markets and adding collector dolls to its lineup. Several of Horsman’s early composition dolls were reissued in vinyl versions. The new millennium brough new challenges, and today, the company now known as Horsman Ltd., manufactures fashion dolls for collectors exclusively.

Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard

  71 Responses to “Horsman Dolls”

  1. You have done a wonderful job with this web site, congratulations. Keep up to wonderful work…..

  2. I have a Horsman bride doll with id # 82 on back of her head noone can tell me what she is worth can u help?

    • It is impossible to give a value without seeing the doll, because condition is everything. And Horsman used the 82 mark on more than one doll. But generally, unless she is in mint condition in her original box, she will be worth $30 or less. Brides are not valued as highly as dolls in other outfits, because there are so many of them. Thanks for writing.

  3. I recently purchased a G.G. Drayton composition 13″ black girl doll. She has a cloth body with plastic head and arms. She has molden hair and 5 pigtails of black cloth hair with white bows. Her face has the dsmr campbell soup kids look with the eyes off to the side with a pug noise and red lips in a smile. Do you have any information on date and value of this doll? I can send pictures if you would like. Not sure if the dress and booties are original as there are no tags. The dress is blue and white check with a white collar, white apron and white booties. Thank you in advance for any assistance. Joan

  4. I have a Horsman Softee Strutter. She has green eyes. I am trying to find
    out when she was made. The box has no date on it and I don’t want to
    remove her from the box.

    Thank you

  5. I was not raised in US and learning about American dolls. I like small dolls . i just rescued a 8 1/2 Horsman light vinyl doll with rooted hair-lots of them. The also has painted eyes and side seeing. it says something like Horsman GG on her neck. She id sooo cute and reminds Tammy. Any ideas who she is?

    • She might be Jane, one of the children that goes along with their Mary Poppins doll. Jane looks just like Tammy’s little sister Pepper. I’m not sure what her markings are. Another small doll Horsman made with painted, side-glancing eyes is Angie Dickinson from the American TV show “Police Woman.” Thanks for writing!

  6. I have a Horseman marked “17 Horsman” on her back. She has a young girls body with flat feet and one leg slightly shorter than the other. She will stand by herself with one foot slightly in front of the other. She has a hard plastic body and a soft vinyl face. She has rooted, short reddish hair with a side curl over her right eye, open and close eyes and a sweet red- lipsticked mouth, not pouty. I can find nothing on her. She was given to me one Christmas as a child between 1957-1963-65. I think she might have been a bride doll but I am not sure. Can you tell me anything about her?

    • Anna, your doll is called Peggy Ann. She was sold in various sizes, hair colors, hair styles and outfits from 1959 until the mid-sixties. There was a black version of Peggy Ann too.

  7. I have a baby doll marked H. with a C in a circle and C. She has a compo head, hands, and legs with a cloth body with crier. She has an open mouth and brown glass sleep eyes. She is 16″ long with pink organdie dress and hat with white cotton slip and diaper with pink trim. I think she was made by Horsman, but can’t find any info on her. She looks to be all original. Comp in great shape. Many thanks for your help.

  8. I have a Horsman doll the has a string in her back to pull to play music and looks like she also can be fed and wets.

    • Horsman made a pull-string Musical Softee Baby in 1981. There’s no photo in the book so I’m not sure what she looks like, or if she has a drink and wet feature. Does the date sound right?

      • That sounds right ..I found her up in one of my closets this past week( I was just now putting up Christmas boxes… shame on me…) so i wanted to fix her up. Crochet her and another doll new outfits. I guess she was my granddaughters’ as she lived with me a while when she was litle. Thank you. God bless you.

  9. I cannot find anything on this doll. She COULD be a Horseman Doll – but ???. But I can’t find one like her at all. She is 13 inches tall, and in BEAUTIFUL condition! Her ‘magic skin’ is in wonderful condition – no deterioration! She has a squeaker or cryer that WORKS. Her body is rubberized vinyl (?) and stuufed with something, so that it feels like a real baby! In other words, she is NOT hollow, but squeezable with cotton batting filling or something inside her body. “Regular” vinyl head. NO wires inside.

    She is marked on her BACK, 37 V-4 and an A near her little bottom. Beautiful golden/hazel ‘glass’ eyes that do not sleep. She does NOT sit. You can stand her and lay her down, but I would not force her legs to sit – I’d hate to damage her skin. Cute baby-fat dimples on her legs and arms, elbows & knees. She weighs 11 ounces. 13 inches long.

    I don’t know if she came originally looking like a ragamuffin with her Saran hair all chopped, but that is how I found her.
    I have pictures read to send!

    • Celiene,
      the A mark on lower hip was used by Arrow, Deluxe Reading and Allied. Deluxe Reading’s stuffed vinyl dolls were generally much larger than yours, so we can probably eliminate them as a possibility. There is very little information out there on Arrow and Allied. Your best bet would be to search eBay or Google until you find one like yours that has her original tag or box to identify her. Sorry I can’t be more help but there are still several manufacturers whose dolls are largely undocumented. Please do write back if you find out who she is.

  10. We have several vintage Horsman dolls, most are still in their original boxes, that we would like to find the value of. Please advise how this can be accomplished.
    Thank you!

    • When somebody asks me what the value of their doll is, I search on eBay, then look at the completed listings to see what dolls have actually sold for. You can easily do the same since you know the dolls’ names. Click here to go to the Horsman category in the Dolls section. Just enter the doll’s name in the Search field at the top, and when the results come up, click on “Completed Listings.”

  11. I have a horsman doll that on the back of her neck is 2953 and it was made in 1969 and i have yet to find any information only she has a painted “flirty face”.

    • Leah, vintage dolls are not catalogued anywhere by numbers, so I can’t use that to identify her. By “flirty face” do you mean that she has side-glancing eyes? If so she might be Teenie Bopper or Teensie Tot – both were made in 1969. Take a look at these dolls on eBay and see if she is like them: Teensie TotTeenie Bopper
      If she is not either of these, post again and try to describe her a little more.

  12. I purchased two vintage Horsman dolls. Both have molded hair, one has jointed arms and legs and soft body, 2 teeth with painted red lips and blue eyes. The back of the neck reads E.I.H.CO.INC. the head is breaking in paint chips and one of the feet is cracking (would that be bisque?), sound box works. The other doll has a soft body same type material in the arms legs and head, but doesn’t have jointed arms and legs. This one has green eyes. Sound box doesn’t work on this one. It has no teeth with an O shaped open mouth. The neck on this reads A HORSMAN DOLL. I can’t find any records of a doll with this written on the back and would like to know which is older.

    I think the first one is named the Dimple Doll and it has dimples.

    Both have been “loved” alot.
    Can you help me identify them I’ll gladly send pictures.

    Martha Keever
    Belmont, NC

    • Martha, your dolls are made of composition, the most commonly used material for doll making in the first half of the 20th century. It is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, so many compo dolls have not held up well over the years. Horsman used the EIH marking a lot in the early years. Baby Dimples was one of Horsman’s most popular dolls from the late 1920s into the ’30s. I’m not sure about your other doll – can you post a photo of her face on my Facebook page?

  13. I am searching for a childhood doll that I had in the 1960’s. I first saw her in one of the “stamp” catalogs but later found that my parents bought her at a local Polsky’s store. She was about $25.00 then! I always remember her being called Dimple Darling, she had white curly hair and was jointed, her wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and had “dimples” on all of them. She was a baby doll, very pretty and I’d love to either locate one or find out more about her! No one seems to know what happened to her, my Mom thinks she went to a neighbor kid when I outgrew doll… which I NEVER did!!! LOL!!!

    • Teri,
      I can’t find any record of a doll called Dimple Darling, but sometimes the catalog companies gave the dolls names which weren’t their actual names. Horsman made Baby Dimples in various versions over the years, but apparently not in the ’60s. Your best bet might be to locate stamp catalogs from the approximate year (you can often find them on eBay) and see if you can track her down that way. There might be some more information there that would help in the search.

  14. I have a doll that has “Dimples” imprinted on the back of its neck. My research found the horseman dolls are supposed to have “Hrseman imprinted on the back of the neck. Can you help me identified the manufactor and age of the doll?

  15. I have a baby Horsman Doll. She has a C in a circle and says, ” Horsman Dolls Inc. 1980 ”

    She is in excellent condition with what appears to be the original crocheted outfit on with crocheted bonnet. When you lay her back she cries. She has the original tag attached to the body. The tag says polyurethane foam and cotton Horsman Dolls P O Box 1390 Columbia SC 29202 Reg. No. Pa. 114 Mass. T-21 Ohio
    3921 ( S C ) Maine 13

    Could you tell me anything about my doll?
    Thank you

  16. I have been looking for a doll I had when I was a child, I am 70 yrs. old now, can’t find anything about her anywhere. Me and my sister both had one. She was about 30 inches tall, with cloth body, hard head and limbs with glued on blonde hair, pigtails, dressed in a velvet princess outfit and I believe she was called Daddy’s Princess. My sister’s was dressed in blue and mine in red with white fur trim on hat, sleeping eyes too.Surely they are more out there. It was around 1950 when we got them for christmas. Would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you for your time.

    • Marie, I was not familiar with Daddy’s Princess but found this photo on Flickr. This doll has a stuffed rubber body – sad to say, these bodies are deteriorating rapidly and you will find very few left in good condition.

      • Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I have been looking for my Daddy’s Princess doll for many years. I didnt even have a picture of her. Would like to know of other pictures around the web that may be better than the one i have. Again , I thank you ever so much. Marie

  17. Hi,
    I have a Horsman Baby Buttercup 1931 12″ Doll in original Box with original clothing and tag, she is in great condition with no cracks and minimal wear and tear to Box, sadly she is no longer on display in our home and I feel that she will ruin if not loved and cared for the way she deserves to be… I was wondering if I could have an estimate on what she could be worth…
    If you could help me i would be grateful!
    Kind Regards,

    • Monique, I was not able to find any sold examples like yours to compare the prices, but based on what I see with other small compo babies, I would estimate her value at about $100.

  18. I have a 27 in. horsman doll with teeth tried to get information on her can,t find any would like information on her model #Br327

  19. I have horsman doll about 36in. Tall she has blond hair shoulder length do you know anything about her

    • In the early ’60s Horsman made a 36″ doll called Princess Peggy. She was very similar to Patti Playpal and other popular companion-size dolls. In the later sixties the 36″ doll was called Cindy, she had unusual side-glancing eyes. I’m not sure if Horsman made any others in that size.

  20. I have a Horsman Doll, she has straght blonde hair and is dressed in a little drum majors suit with pom poms, boots, hat and all. She has the marks on the back of her neck Horsman Dolls Inc. with a no. 19 and a c in a circle. I believe it to be all original. She is in great condition. A beautiful face. What can you tell me about her.

    • Kay, I took a look through my Horsman book but don’t see a drum majorette outfit. Of course they don’t show every outfit for every doll. If you could post a picture on my Facebook page, that would be the easiest way to try and identify her. If you are unable to post a picture, can you give me more of a description of the doll – how tall is she? Is she a chubby toddler, slim girl or high heeled lady? The number on the back of her neck should be the copyright year. There should be two numbers after the copyright symbol (c in a circle). They may be faint but would be a great help. Does she have painted eyes or sleep eyes?

  21. My dolls have the number 1967 on the back of their head. They have sleep eyes. See pictures on facebook. Thank you so much for your time.

    • Kay, I think your dolls are called Ruthie. That name was used several times by Horsman for different dolls over the years. This particular version of Ruthie was also sold under the names Betty and Bootsie. Very nice dolls!

  22. My wife has a Horsman doll that was her grandmother’s. Looking on line we fouind some picture with descriptions of Horsman dolls.The doll appears to be a 1928 Baby Dimples doll. The only difference in the one described in the picture is that ours has black painted hair and the mark simply reads Horsman, whereas the one in description says the mark is “E.I.H. © CO. INC
    Our doll has composite head, legs and arms on cloth body, sleeping eyes, open mouth with teeth visible. Do we have a 1928 Dimples or something else?? Thanks for any info.

    • Jesse, according to Don Jensen’s book, “Collector’s Guide to Horsman Dolls 1865-1930,” early dolls were marked with the EIH marking. In 1926, Horsman sued another doll company for copyright infringement, but lost the case because the judge ruled that initials alone did not adequately identify a copyright. Shortly thereafter, the company started using the Horsman marking, but the EIH would have been still in use for some time, as it would not have been cost effective to rework all the molds. So there may be Dimples dolls with either marking. Baby Dimples did not have black hair – it sounds to me like yours has been repainted at some point.

      • Thanks for the info. It’s very likely the hair was repainted black as some is coming off and it appears to be “blond” underneath. The copyright fiasco explains the stamp. Again, thanks.

  23. Can you tell me what year Horsman “Love Me” Dolls were made?

    Thank you!

    • Horsman, like many other companies, often used the same names more than once. The Love Me dolls were first made in 1954 and were available for three years. In 1956, the same doll with hair in blue, pink or green was sold as the Life Savers doll. In 1970 and ’71, a Love Me Baby doll was produced. From the late ’70s through the mid ’80s, a Love Me Sofskin was available. Finally, in the early 1990s a talking version of Love Me was made.

  24. I have a 1950’s era Horsmean Perthy baby doll. I can’t seem to find
    any information about it, or the value of this doll. I looked on Ebay and
    didn’t see one.

    • Elizabeth, go back to eBay and do a search, make sure you are spelling Horsman correctly, there is no “e” in it. If you get no current results, click on “Completed Listings” on the left side of the page – there are a few there.

  25. I have a Horsman doll called Perthy. I understand he is from the 1950’s .
    I can not find much about him. Would you know what he is worth? He is wearing his original robe. Pink and white stripe.
    He is in very good shape.
    Thanks for any info you can give me. LoraLee

  26. I’m french and I just bought this doll (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=111298472264&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123) yesterday, but I’m unable to find information about her, and so the seller, who made some research for me before sending me the invoice. Could you help me o find who she is ? Thanks you very much.

    • Muriel, Horsman babies are very difficult to identify. The book does not list the marking that is on your doll, but after looking through the old catalog pictures I think she is probably one of the Softee dolls. She has the same face as Softee Pixie from 1961, although yours has a different hair style. Most of the babies had curled fingers, and yours are more straight, so that is another identifying feature. Hope this helps.

  27. Hello!

    I recently acquired a Horsmann 14 inch hard plastic doll with flat feet
    stamped 1964 Horsman Dolls Inc. and 316 below the 1964.
    The hair is blonde , sleepy eyes , closed mouth- not sure if dress is original to doll but it a hot pink dress with white collar and sleeves with white ribbon
    Could you tell me the name of the doll

    • Johanna, the date on a doll is the copyright date, and usually the dolls were produced the following year after they were copyrighted. So I took a look at the 1965 dolls, and the only one that was 14″ (other than baby dolls with bent knees) was Ruthie.

  28. I have a horsman doll from childhood I think its a buttercup doll but can’t find another one that looks like it it has blue sleep eyes and is a drink and wet the marks on the neck seem to be BO 164 any ideas would be appreciated

  29. I have a Horsman Fairy Skin doll with blond Miracle Hair rooted in the scalp. Needs TLC. I am wondering if it is worth anything. Any feedback would be appreciated.

  30. I Have a Horsman Doll that I would like to find out when He was made!! , I have had Him sine 1974-75 , His the kind of doll u set on u”r keen & pull the string in the back of his nick & move his mouth , & u talk for him ,with out u”r mouth moveing !! on his nick is Horsman Doll Inc. There is 2 marksing but I can”nt make them out !! He is the same as the day he was made , I just wouid like to know what year that was !! Thank u Gladys

    • Gladys, your doll is probably Willie Talk, who was made from 1972 to 1990. Horsman made other ventriloquist dolls during the same time period, including Emmett Kelly Jr. the clown and Tessie Talk, a little girl. They both had the same pull string mechanism as Willie Talk. Simon Sez and Moe from the Three Stooges were two others that had a different, more professional style mechanism.

  31. I still have my first baby doll from 1965. It is a Horseman. She has molded hair, blinking blue eyes and moveable joints. It looks like she has a squeaker or something where she once make sound but I do t recall and could be wrong. Could you give more more information about her?

    • Elissa, it sounds like your doll is Baby Buttercup. She was made in several different sizes, and white and black versions. There were Baby Buttercups with rooted hair, as well as the molded hair version like yours. Baby Buttercup was a name that Horsman used many times over the years, from the 1930s to the 1990s. The materials and styles changed but she was always a cute baby doll. It is wonderful that you still have your childhood baby!

  32. My grandmother bought 3 horsman dolls at a yard sale. Each of these dolls have long gowns on and bonnets. I wasn’t able to find any others like them online. One is from 1967, 1970 and the other 2007. If you’ll email me I can send you pictures.


  33. I have a picture of a horseman composition doll that I believe my mother had when she was 9 or 10. It would have been in the 30’s. This picture was sent to me without a web site. I’m not able to locate her and would love to buy it for her for her birthday as she talks about that doll frequently. I do not do face book. Do you have an e-mail address that I could send you the picture. Maybe you might know about her. Thank you!

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