Asian Dolls

Most of my dolls from Asia are costume dolls.

The largest group are the cloth dolls described in my post “My Oldest Doll“. They date from the 1950s to the end of the 1980s. My original ones were a mother and baby who was strapped to her back. I think they were meant to represent Chinese peasants.

chinese cloth doll family
My little orphan with his new family
chinese cloth doll
My oldest doll given to me when I was about two years old.
Chinese cloth mother doll
I used to have a doll very similar to this one.


This little doll turns up quite often on eBay. She has a vinyl body and legs but her arms and head are a pale coloured hard plastic.
Chinese girl doll

This next doll is a bit of a mystery to me as well. I found him on a market stall in Adelaide.

He has a cloth body but his head, neck plate and arms are a hard material. I think it may be composition which would make him fairly old. His features are painted on. I can’t decide if his costume is original or has been replaced but the head dress I don’t believe is original as it has a long tail of what looks like blonde Barbie hair at the back. Perhaps he had  a black pig tail that came off and was replaced with this. I’d love to know. Anyway I love his expression and for me that’s more important than value or even history. All my dolls have something I find loveable about them.

Chinese cloth doll with hard head
Chinese Baby Doll
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12 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing these adorable dolls.

    Are you interested in Asian fashion dolls and/or action figures? If yes, please visit my blog for a recent post on South Asian dolls.

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  2. Are you sure the last doll is Chinese? He is wearing a kimono, made out of fabrics that look very Japanese. Just something to ponder about.

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    • You could well be right about that. I know nothing about this doll which I found in a market in Adelaide while I was there on holiday. I think it is old and I think the outfit is original although I can’t say for sure. I’m doubtful about the long blonde hair at the back which looks like Barbie hair to me. You can’t see that in the photo. I guess the head dress thing made me think Chinese. Have you seen anything like this one before?

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      • I haven’t. But I have handmade Japanese dolls wearing kimono made out of almost identical fabric. I was checking some of my books, and I haven’t found doll similar to this one yet. Yet, there are a lot of Japanese dolls that are given to boys and girls for their yearly holiday, and those doll might not be traceable.

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      • You made me curious, I am going to try to find out more about this doll. Somehow the legs seem to miss something. Usually Asian dolls are more elaborate.

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      • Yes, it is a bit of a mystery. I’ll try to post some more pictures, maybe without the clothing so you can see the cloth body. I suspect home made or repaired perhaps. Doll detective work can be a lot of fun.

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      • Maybe, but he is called Japanese boy, so maybe he was made by American, European or even Australian doll maker, who made one Japanese and one Chinese outfit while using the same doll?

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