What is Bisque?
Bisque is unglazed porcelain; usually molded into shape then baked in high temperatures in a “kiln” to form doll heads and doll body parts. Most German and French dolls from the late 1800s and very early 1900s had heads made of bisque.
In the late 1860s several French doll firms created the first unglazed porcelain dolls. These bisque dolls slowly gained popularity until they were the preferred material to make doll heads through the early 1900s, until composition overtook bisque as the most popular material.
Most bisque dolls are not made totally of bisque because of the great weight and fragility such a doll with a bisque body and limbs would have. Small dolls, known as all-bisque, were all the rage from the late 1800s to about 1930, many of them were known as penny dolls. Most bisque dolls have bodies of cloth or composition.
Bisque dolls were typically highly detailed with natural hair and lifelike features and clothing. There are three types of bisque dolls: fashion dolls (adults), bébé dolls (babies), and character dolls (expressive or dressed as a character).