Saturday, February 13, 2010

Moments in Black Doll History - Topsy Followup

She's cute but she's no Topsy.

If you plan to add Topsy dolls to your collection, be forewarned:

Not all composition 9 to 16-inch (and possibly other size) composition dolls currently being sold as Topsy are authentic.  Some of these have had holes bored in their heads by sellers and/or prior owners to add the Topsy-style hair. 

In person or with good images and by asking questions and for better images if you plan to purchase online, you can tell whether or not the holes are authentic based on their size and location. Authentic holes are usually small, just large enough to loop a few strands of mohair or embroidery yarn through.   If the holes are very large or the side holes lopsided (one lower than the other or both placed too low) usually an individual added the holes, not a manufacturer.

Some authentic Topsy dolls have their hair tufts stapled to their heads instead of looped through holes. Most 9 to 16-inch composition Topsy dolls are all composition. 

I have a few Topsy imposters in my collection as a result of not realizing that some molded hair composition dolls and some compo head/cloth bodied dolls are fabrications.

Note the huge hole in the side of this doll's head... it is much larger than the manufactured versions and the placement is too low.  A manufactured doll's hole would be smaller and placed on the molded hair portion of the side of the head.  This doll's eyes were also repainted by the previous owner/seller.  She's cute (and I need to wipe her face), but she's no Topsy.

dbg ◦


  1. I have a black topsy doll with a molded body (2 piece) It is wearing original clothes and has painted shoes. Don't know anything about her, but she is adorable. Any help appreciated. She is for sale but have no idea of value.

  2. Fran - Topsy dolls vary in price, based on the size, condition, manufacturer/marks, etc. Try searching "completed" auctions for Topsy dolls on eBay to get an idea of average selling price.


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