Q: I’m writing about a 24-inch doll my mother left to me. My mother was born in 1926. The doll’s arms, wrists, legs, and neck are all moving joints. Her eyes close when she lies down, and I believe her hair is real. Her face looks porcelain but I don’t know what the body is. The back of the doll’s neck is marked with the letters “AE” within a rectangle and “Made in Nippon.” I’m hoping you can tell me something about the doll and what it might be worth.
A: “Nippon” is the Japanese word for Japan and was used as a mark on dolls and other items imported from Japan from 1891 to 1921. The words “made in” were added after 1914. This “AE” mark has been attributed to the Allied Grand Doll Manufacturing Company, a company in business in Brooklyn, New York, from 1915 to 1980. The company was also called Allied Eastern Doll Company, Allied Imported, Allied Doll Company, and Allied Doll & Toy Company. It is best known for its fashion dolls. Composition, vinyl, and hard plastic dolls were made, many for other companies that sold them under their own names. The company also made and sold doll parts to other companies. The value of an old doll depends on maker, rarity, size, clothing, and condition of the doll. Look at old dolls at antiques shops and antique malls to see what similar fully-jointed dolls are selling for. With no clothes she is probably worth $25 to $50.