Why so White?

My doll collection contains caucasian dolls almost exclusively. Why?

I have owned and sold many black dolls, but so far, none have made the cut for my permanent collection.

Since bisque dolls during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were made predominately in France and Germany, they reflected the population. When ethnic dolls were made, they were often made as novelties and were of poor quality. Several firms made limited numbers of high quality black dolls, but because of their rarity they usually command the highest prices (i.e., out of my budget).

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For my birthday, I just purchased two 2 ¼” black French Lilliputians on eBay. Really, I JUST purchased them from a dealer in California on Saturday, and they came this morning!

I am not fond of surprises, so, yes, I buy my own birthday presents. DH does not complain. It just makes life easier for him.


These dolls were obviously made as novelties, but the quality seems to be good. I owned and sold a similar doll last year, but she had a cracked torso.

Since their sewn-on clothing is in rough shape and I don’t like it, I will undress and redress these sweet mignonettes. If their bodies and limbs are in as good shape as their swivel heads, they may earn permanent status.


The only other black doll I now have is this SFBJ composition head cutie that I bought to flip. I’ll share more about her in a later post.

So, it’s not any inherent prejudice or my personal whiteness that colors my collection. It is just a question of availability, quality and price.


Why so White? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I collect all bisques, Motschmann/Taufling dolls and black dolls. I have quite a few black all bisques.
    And I love Theimer’s Madammoisell Mignonette book. Do,you have Samy Odin’s Mignonette book? It has patterns from the Poupee de Modele magazine. I am a beginning sewer and am trying to make a mignonette dress for one of my French mignonettes from the patterns in this book. Email me and I will send you a photo of some of my black all bisques ( and others)

    • Hi Teresa,

      I do have Samy’s book, too. Check out my Tutorial section for Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls and let me know if it helps.

      Thanks for the feedback,