Antique doll collecting is a lucrative hobby. One of the most popular antique dolls is bisque dolls or those with heads and extremities made from fragile porcelain. Common to these types of dolls are those with sleep eye mechanisms, which allow their eyes to close and open depending on the doll’s position.
Attached to a bisque doll’s glass eyes are metal weights that close the eyes when the doll is lying on its back and open them when the doll is in an upright position. Apart from the fact that the porcelain parts are extremely fragile, bisque dolls must be handled with utmost care as movements might make the metal weights sway forcefully and shatter the fragile head. Thus, it is essential that proper packing precautions are observed when transporting or shipping a bisque doll. Here are tips on how to properly pack and ship a bisque doll to ensure that it arrives safely and in excellent condition.
To keep the sleep eye mechanism from damaging the head, the metal weights must be kept in place by filling the head with tissue paper or paper towels. This can be done by carefully removing the doll’s wig and pate (usually made from cardboard which is used to cover a hole in the top of the head). Depending on the glue used to attach them to the doll, it may take some time and patience to peel off the wig and pate. Once removed, fill the head with tissue to keep the weight from moving. Place the pate and wig back on and wrap the entire head with layers of bubble wrap. While stuffing the head is a common practice when shipping bisque dolls, it is best to ask your buyer first if they agree to this procedure to avoid any issues.
Next, wrap the doll’s arms and legs individually with bubble wrap. Then bubblewrap the entire doll so it is packed in one solid unit. Place the wrapped doll in a sturdy shipping box with a layer of packing peanuts on the bottom. Fill the sides and top with more packing materials until there is no space for movement. Close the package and seal securely with packaging tape. Address and label the package and take to your local post office or shipping company. Don’t forget to insure your item if it’s rare or a highly valuable antique.