Monday, April 19, 2010

Things to Look for When Pricing Horsman Dolls

A Guide to Pricing Horsman Dolls

The Horsman Doll Company, like other companies, used the same doll face style to make different versions of the doll within a given year's production. The quality of the doll was the same, but the clothing styles and materials, as well as the accessories and hair, varied.

There were usually three different styles of a popular dolls made (and many sizes). For example:
  • Rosebud with sateen dress, slip, shoes, socks and hat;
  • Rosebud with organdy dress, slip, shoes, socks and no hat; and
  • Rosebud with cotton dress shoes and socks.
The above descriptions of the same doll varying only in clothing has an effect on the price of the doll. It is therefore, when and where possible, that dolls should be purchased MIB (Mint in Box). Of course, during the time periods in which the doll was made, the one with the sateen dress would have been more expensive than the one with a cotton dress. It is therefore reasonable to expect your doll with the sateen dress to be more valuable today as a collectible, than the doll with the organdy or cotton dress.

Types of Doll Hair

The type of hair which a doll has also adds to its value. Horsman made the dolls described above with:
  • Human hair wigs

  • Mohair wigs

  • Molded hair 

The value of the dolls would follow the order given in the list above, i.e., the doll with molded hair would be of lesser value than the one with human hair and more likely would have fewer accessories. Clothing, hair and accessories were modified to meet the public taste and budget.

Accessories, Etc.

Similarly, one can expect other attributes to the doll to enhance its value, such as the inclusion of a voice box. The Horsman Doll Company made every attempt to include clever accessories. In the 1950s dolls, for example, there were miniature and life-size advertising products, e.g., miniature Ivory Soap bars, life size Evenflo nursing bottles, miniature Carnation Milk cans, etxc. In a word, the better the hair and clothing and the more added features there are, such as a voice box and accessories, the higher the price of the doll. Horsman Dolls were originally made to be played with as toys. Because these dolls were made and marketed for children, there are very few to be found in mint condition and in the original box.

It is rare to find a Horsman Doll in excellent condition and if you do the value of the doll would be somewhat increased. Here is an example of Rosebud in pristine condition. 


I have included a Video Bar that includes several Youtube videos about dolls. Scroll down to the bottom of the blog and check them out!

Reference: The Horsman Dolls 1950 to 1970 by Patikii Gibbs