Doll; Armand Marseille Doll Co. (estab. 1844, closed 1930s); c. 1924; XHH.1840





About this object

This doll belonged to Ruth Waller (nee Buckland), and was part of a small collection which she acquired during her adult life. Ruth’s granddaughter, Jane, remembers visiting her grandmother as a small girl and playing with these toys.

This doll was made in approximately 1924 by the German doll manufacturer, Armand Marseille Doll Company. It is from the ‘My Dream Baby’ series and still wears its original factory-made nappy, a petticoat, and an antique gown made of white lawn.

During the 19th century, children’s toys were often homemade and included items like kites, stilts, bows and arrows, model boats, wooden animals, rag dolls and wooden dolls. By the 1860s, specialist toy shops and toy sections in department stores had been established and were frequented by wealthier families. (1) Despite belonging to one of Auckland’s most wealthy families, it is unlikely that Ruth was given expensive brand new toys to play with. As the fourth youngest child of twenty-one children, it is more probable that Ruth received ‘hand-me-down’ toys from her older siblings. This factor, along with the greater availability of toys manufactured from overseas, may have encouraged Ruth to collect dolls and doll accessories during her adult years. It seems that Ruth owned a number of Armand Marseille dolls which are one of the commonest kinds of antique dolls today.

(1) Peter Clayworth, ‘Children’s play – Toys – from homemade to mass market,’ Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, URL:

For more information about the Buckland family and Highwic, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.


Armand Marseille Doll Co. (estab. 1844, closed 1930s)

Maker Role


Date Made

c. 1924

Place Made


Medium and Materials

Ceramic, cotton and celluloid

Inscription and Marks

'A M Germany 3418' on the back of the neck.


58 x 21cm

Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Highwic, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
Highwic   Highwic

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