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Dolls, in the context of the website, refer to the heads, arms and legs of rag and hinged dolls which were the play-things of children at the turn of the century (the last one) which remain intact and which are being dug in South African dumps. Included in this section are the miniature china tea-sets which are also relative.

It would be futile for this site to elaborate too much on this fascinating topic as there are numerous international sites dedicated to the subject and as none of the dolls pictured originated in South Africa. We will show what is being found locally and supply a link to what we believe to be the best international sites available for more information. Please remember that they too are linked to our site so if you have an interest in antique porcelain dolls you would be well advised to register this interest with us so that you may be contacted by international collectors.

Any digger / collector cannot fail but to be touched by a strange sense of nostalgia when coming accross these beautiful relics of yesteryear (each one hand painted and in essence a miniature sculpture).

For buying and selling dolls internationally, we recommend browsing www.dollsandlace.com


From left to right. * The largest recorded dug pink tinted bisque head 172mm tall. The glass closing eyes are not matching and neither probably belonged originally. Engraved "3200 AM9DEP made in Germany" at rear. Dug Boksburg July 1990.* A distinctly male looking doll. * This pink tinted bisque head, relatively small (55mm) still has the original fixed glass eyes and teeth. Engraved on rear "1909 DEP. R1410A"

A group of "Black Berthas" the largest of which is 99mm tall and bought at Melrose House Antique Fair.

A group of Bonnet dolls. These can be found up to 85mm tall and are surely the most attractive of all the dolls heads which might be dug. All of the above emanate from the Kamfersdam dump and for some inexplicable reason are seldom if ever found anywhere else.

A pair of Bonneted dolls heads c 1885 taken from the old Kimberley dump.

A group of blonde Victorian young ladies. On the right hand side is the first dolls head that I ever found, spotted in the spoil heap by my 7 year old daughter Cindy on a dig at the Army dump.

A trio of full body dolls which would have had hinged limbs.

Here is a group of "stick" dolls which would have had hinged arms . These European manufactured dolls are often mistakenly identified by S.A. collectors as Voortrekker dolls because of the traditional "Boervrou" headgear.

A group of hinged and solid arms.

A selection of sometimes robust Victorian legs showing some of the latest hosiery and shoes.

A group of fairy-tale charms including little Jack Horner, little miss Muffet and little miss Riding Hood.

Chinese lucky charms. According to some authorities these were placed in the earliest versions of what are now known as "lucky packets". Distinctly chinese in character all of these pictured were dug at Forest Hill, a dump which yields many artifacts directly associated with the Chinese slave labour used on the early gold mines. Tallest 32mm.

Teapots and water & milk jugs are found in a number of shapes and sizes.

The lucky digger may find printed matching cups and saucers.