What’s it Worth: Doll Carriage

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.

Antique doll carriage front view

Antique Doll Carriage

This lovely doll carriage, rescued from the trash, is a fine example of the popular toy, manufactured circa 1870.

Antique doll carriage side view

Antique Doll Carriage Side

Early doll carriages featured a wooden arm, large steel-rimmed wheels and bodies made of reed and rattan.

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)

Cathy Groves 1 May 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I also have a doll carriage, but mine has a parasol instead of being hooded

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Marion Wright 2 May 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

i have purchased a wicker antique baby carriage it in beautyful condidtion..what i would like to lnow is why is there a square cut out on the bottom of the basket.

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Phyllis Jaeger 3 August 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Mine also has a square cut in the bottom but it has a cover that lifts up. This, I’ve been told, is to carry extra clothes or accessories. That’s what I was told and how true it is I don’t know. If anyone has another answer I would be interested.

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jen risser 4 January 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

I played with a wicker buggy that had the compartment in bottom. I was told that it was to store clothes for dolly. I recently found a natural color wicker buggy in restorable shape. Wicker nearly perfect. I found a lady on ebay that makes custom size mattresses for doll beds or strollers. Makes such a great display !

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Nicole Pruden 5 June 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I have an old doll carriage. It appears to be made of leather like material that is brown in color. It has a horse lion and crown emblem on both sides. The wheels appear to be like plastic but not sure if they are. The under carriage had metal like framing with springs. I can not find anything on this item or anything close to it. I have been looking for ten years. If anyone had an idea or possible makers name that would be helpful. I could also get a pic to show. Please email uk081984@yahoo.com if you would like to help with information.

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