Vintage Paper Dolls

What is it about paper dolls that so enchanted, and continue to enchant, children around the world? To this day they still enchant some collectors.

Paper dolls represent an interesting window into the past on any given time period. Fashion aficionados will especially appreciate paper dolls for their look at trendy fashions of the times. Combine that with the fact that popular celebrities and fictional characters were often the faces of paper dolls, and you have the perfect snapshots of moments in history.


Paper dolls weren’t only made out of paper; some were made of cloth or wood. Obviously, however, most were made of paper, making antique paper dolls hard to find in good condition.

The first paper dolls as we know them were created in the 18th century in Europe. They featured fancy dresses and accessories worn in the fashion capitols of the world. These paper dolls were not made for children, but were in fact made for adults to admire a designer’s work in the fashion industry.

The first paper doll modeled after a celebrity took the likeness of the ballerina Marie Taglioni in the 1830’s.

The famous company Raphael Tuck improved paper dolls by inventing the interchangeable clothes and heads we’re familiar with today.

Do you collect paper dolls? Did you play with them as a child? Tell us about your favorites in the comments! And don’t forget to check out our store for some vintage paper dolls of your own.

3 thoughts on “Vintage Paper Dolls

  1. Pingback: Paper Dolls from early in the past - Montana Doll Lady - Livingston, Montana

  2. I loved playing with paper dolls as a child growing up in the seventies. Some of my favourites were The Ginghams, Little Red Riding Hood, and a costume doll called Holly. I kept them all and I am struck by feelings of nostalgia every time I take them out to look at them. I still like to buy them now and again. I recently bought a book of Little House on the Prairie paper dolls.

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