Baby dolls rode in high style in vintage toy carriages like this one. Our antiques expert helps a reader determine what her carriage is worth today.
I rescued this wicker doll carriage from the trash. Both the wicker and the fabric are in good condition, and the large wheels are bentwood with steel rims. It measures about 20 inches high (34 if you include the hood, which folds down easily) and almost 23 inches wide. What can you tell me about it?
—B.F., Minden, Ontario
What’s it Worth?
Originally, baby carriage manufacturers saw doll carriages as a sideline, a profitable way to use their heaps of scraps. Benjamin Potter Crandall, a Rhode Island toymaker, sold the first American-made doll carriage for $1.50.
By 1870, several manufacturers were taking out patents on the toy and making fashionable reed and rattan styles. Note the large wheels and wooden arm used to push yours; the metal support balanced the carriage when it was stationary. It’s nearly impossible to determine the maker of your later-model carriage, which also features small iron wheels in front to help maneuver it.
Your lovely antique is definitely more worthy of a toy museum than the trash collection! It’s worth about $250.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)