Armand Marseille Dolls - An Introduction:
Armand Marseille dolls are one of the most common antique dolls that are found today. They made certain of their dolls, including the very plentiful 390 and 370 molds, for a span of over 30 years. Although they are known for some fine character dolls and some lovely lady dolls, the great majority of their dolls were dolly faced child dolls, babies and toddlers. At the height of their production, they produced over 1,000 doll heads per day.
Years of Production of Armand Marseille Dolls:
Armand Marseille dolls were produced from roughly 1885 until approximately 1930.
About The Armand Marseille Doll Company:
Located in Koppelsdorf, in the Thuringia region of Germany, the Armand Marseille doll company was at the heart of the German dollmaking revolution in the 1890s. Started by Armand Marseille in 1865, the company didn't make dolls until approximately 1885. Armand Marseille, Jr. was at the head of the company for the majority of the company's dollmaking years.
Almost all of the doll heads were made of bisque; many other doll companies purchased Armand Marseille doll heads. Doll bodies were generally made of composition or stuffed kid with bisque arms.
Basic Types of Armand Marseille Dolls:
As mentioned, the majority of Armand Marseille dolls were made with bisque heads; the most common being the 390 head mold on a composition body and the 370 (a shoulder head mold) on a stuffed kid body. Armand Marseille also made a large variety of baby dolls including the Dream Baby, toddler dolls, character dolls including Just Me and several rare models. Other well known dolly-faced child dolls include Floradora, Queen Louise and Darling Dolly. They also made googlies.
Marks on Armand Marseille Dolls:
Armand Marseille dolls are generally very clearly marked on the back of the bisque head; as an example: Armand Marseille / Germany / 390 / A 5 M or something similar, where 390 is the mold number. Many of the dolls are marked with A M instead of Armand Marseille.
Price Trends on Armand Marseille Dolls:
As with many of the more common bisque head antique German dolls, prices for Armand Marseille dolls have declined in the last few years, mostly due to the effect of eBay on the market. That said, a great majority of the baby, toddler and dolly faced Armand Marseille dolls fall in the $200 to $500 price range, with the exceptions including very large dolls, googlies, rare character dolls (which can cost several thousand dollars) and lady dolls.