How To Collect Kamkins Dolls

The Kamkins dolls are one of the most sought after items that an antique doll collector may want to have as part of her collection. The Kamkins dolls were made by Louise R. Kampes in 1919 and were handcrafted until the early 1930s in her studio in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mostly made of cloth, Louise created a technique that would make the faces sanitary by using a die-mold on which rubber layers were laid. By sanitary it means that it was designed to be easily wiped clean. After which, the cloth was placed and before it is vulcanized and then painted.

This special method was then patented on November 2, 1920 with patent number 1357779. The cotton bodies are then marked with a red heart-shaped paper labels that are imprinted with “A Dolly Made to Love” Patented by L.R Kampes Atlantic City, NJ”. Some of the dolls were also marked differently wherein it had a label stamped on back of the head or on the foot of the dolls.

The regular sized Kamkins measured 18-19 inches and sport mohair wigs or even wigs made of human hair. The style of the hair was the Dutch cut and was used for either male or female dolls but there were also long hair-styled dolls available for the female characters. The 19-inch (48 cm) dolls also came with a voice box or a crier at the back. The 18-inch version came with blue painted eyes and a blonde wig. The toes and thumbs were also stitched separately and the joints at the hips were also sewn.

New wardrobes that came in different styles were also available each year. Kamkins dolls accessories include shoes, sandals, wardrobes, hats, and socks. These dolls are generally hard to find nowadays and an interested collector of Kamkins will be able to find good condition dolls at auction sites online. A 19-inch generally good condition Kamkins doll of circa 1925 with a slight scuff mark on its nose can even fetch $950 in one auction site online.

For doll and antique collectors who are interested in starting a Kamkins dolls collection, it is best to check auction sites online and even doll conventions to get the dolls that are still in good condition. There is also a 6.5-inch tall miniature version of the Kamkins and one may purchase a single doll at $499. But just to set expectations for those who are interested to buy one, most of the Kamkins dolls available for sale are immediately sold due to its rarity.

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