Nun Dolls







teaching20nun20doll-3034864There is something  so completely irresistible about nun dolls.

For one thing, they’re dolls. Far more important,  I think, they remind Catholics of an era that is full of nostalgia for the way we lived within the culture of Catholicism — before the secular world became nearly the only world we knew.

   Of course nostalgic feelings don’t always paint an accurate picture of the past, but whether our memories of “Sister” are pleasant or not, each “Sister” with her shy smile and kind words gave us hope in our own goodness as we strived to please and imitate her. And the “not so nice” Sisters with their frailties and warts perhaps instilled a little fear of the Lord and a reminder of the reality of hellfire and brimstone that awaited us if we didn’t toe the line.  Which of us wicked children didn’t secretly wonder if Sister was really bald? Or what was in that breast pocket?

   holy20family20of20nazareth-8041194Nun dolls remind us of a little bit of that sense of awe and respect we all felt when we passed Sister on the street, and discretely glanced at her fingers as they moved across the smooth black beads of the long Rosary at her side.

   They remind us of the mystery we all felt about the life and vocations of nuns who wore wedding rings as the Brides of Christ. The women who did — and who still do — give their lives in service of the Church.

   Nun dolls aren’t only for older nostalgic Catholics. They have a valuable place in the homes of Catholics with young children and in our Catholic classrooms as well.

   Children learn about life by playing — whether it’s playing house, or teacher, or fireman, or learning to “cook” by making little mud pies.

sister20of20saint20joseph-4292847   Children learn by doing, by acting out the roles they will play in the future.  Give a little girl a Barbie or a Bratz doll and she will learn to be a vain, self-centered, mall-crawling consumer.

   Give a girl a nun doll and she will begin to learn about Catholic life, vocations and sacrifice.

   But nuns don’t dress that way now! Why can’t she learn about a vocation by playing with a regular dolls that looks like the Sisters who know who dress in lay clothing?

   Simple. A teacher, a social worker, a nurse looks just like you and me and the lady next door. While these Sisters do wonderful work in professions where the  headwear of St. Catherine of Laboure is quite impractical — their image is lacking that singular mystery – the gift of a vocation to the religious life. And … many nuns still do dress in the traditional habits of their orders.

   A nun doll in a habit is special. She is very different from any other doll. You will never see her tossed in a heap with other toys. She always has a place of honor.  Her “dress” is mysterious, just like the mystery of a vocation to the religious life. A child learns by instinct.

   Even if your little girl doesn’t choose the religious life, she will learn about another Mystery of the Catholic Church. The mystery of religious life.

   Why collect nun dolls?  Why not?  They make everyone smile. With the exception of a few ultra feminist nuns who perhaps had unhappy memories of the old days of convent life, nun dolls make everyone happy!

  Considering the often unstable condition of the stock market and mutual funds, nun dolls, in most instances, are a terrific investment. Not that you’ll earn enough to retire on, but it all adds up.

   We’ve put together a photo archive of nun dolls that sold on eBay in the first month of 2007* along with their prices and notations. We specifically avoided presenting nun dolls that sold during the Christmas season because prices can be exceptionally inflated. Good for the collector if you want to raise some Christmas cash!  Not so good for buyers. *Now updated with 2008 additions.

   Even after the Christmas selling season, you’ll see that prices fluctuate wildly.  It is a buyer’s market and your sale price will greatly depend on who’s shopping when you’re selling.

   Still, you can use this page as a guide of what to buy, what not to buy, and what to pay. When we visit estate sales on Long Island, we sometimes run across sellers who have unrealistic expectations of the value of nun dolls. You can use this guide as leverage for lower prices.

   Where to find nun dolls?  This is a collectible where there is the thrill of the hunt. Go to estate sales. Go to Church rummage sales. And shop eBay during the dead season – July and August. Look for misspellings that are overlooked. Blessings Nun Dolls has closed their doors, but if you can afford to, buy them up on eBay. These dolls will only appreciate in value. You might even find some religious orders that will be happy to get rid of theirs. Just be fair in what you pay them.

Happy nun hunting!



Blessings Nun Dolls was the vision of five brothers who wanted to do something special — and to a great degree, they succeeded.

 Their company was created as a way to carry on and promote the memories of these virtuous women who sacrificed so much so we all could have a better life. They educated us, prayed for us and kept us in their hearts. They’ve cared for the sick, the dying, the poor and the homeless, as they still do today.

Even in their reduced numbers, and without their traditional habits, they continue to do good deeds. Their goal was to keep the Nuns and Sisters in our hearts, in return for what they’ve done for us. 

Like many Catholic companies, the harsh realities of economics in a secular world has brought these brothers to an important decision: it was time to close Blessings.



Each habit was painstakingly researched and created with great detail and loyalty to authenticity. The Sister of Charity of Halifax is an example of a special order doll whose habit was created from archives of the order.

As a Catholic business ourselves, active in the community of Catholic retailers, we know how enthusiastically the Blessings line of nun dolls was received. In fact, I can’t think of another line that created so much excitement.

From our standpoint, selling them was another matter. As outstanding as the line was, the customers who were most enthusiastic were traditional Catholics, many of whom were home schooling moms on a tight budget.  As much as they wanted them, they simply couldn’t afford them.

Today, Blessings has closed its doors. The difficulty of obtaining dolls, combined with the death of the artist who painted the faces put an end to them. Hopefully someone will purchase the company one day.  In the meanwhile, be sure to visit their webpage before it disappears.


How to Sell Nun Dolls?  Without a doubt eBay is the best place to sell nun dolls and just about anything else, for that matter, although market conditions are changing and you might do better to place them elsewhere – even on a specialty site like ours that generates a lot of traffic from those looking for nun dolls.

You will need to start with a good photo. A smooth, non-distracting background is best. Invest 79 cents for a piece of grey or blue matte finish poster board for a non-reflective smooth background. If your doll is very tall, you might have to acquire a large piece of felt. Don’t worry about the cost. You’ll use it again and again.

Natural light is the best, but if you are artful, you can use side lighting. Be certain that your photo isn’t too bright or too dark. Web photos tend to show up a little darker. And be generous with the size of your photos. Take at least a straight on photo, and if you can, a close up of the face. See our How NOT to sell nun dolls sections for poses to avoid. Please be certain that they are focused!

The next step is describing your nun doll. If it is old, look at the back of the neck for any imprints that will identify the type of doll it is. If you are able to, take a photo of the marking. This can be difficult to do, so if your photos are awful just describe the marking.

Make note of the composition of the doll itself and whether it has blinky eyes, rooted hair, etc. If you need help, visit eBay’s Doll discussion board.

Be sure to measure your doll and put the measurements into your ad. Make note of any interesting accessories, like a rosary, pectoral Crucifix, shoes, etc. See How NOT to sell a Nun Doll for details on what not to mention.

Research the order that the nun doll represents, if any and try to include a little information on the order. Keep it brief. Please don’t make stuff up if you’re not sure.

Another tip: Don’t claim the nun doll was made by a nun unless it was. Collectors know the difference.

Now you’ll have to select a category.  If your doll is china or some truly antique composition, you will want to list it under the appropriate dolls category. We can’t help you with that. Dolls, per se, are not our specialty. Again, go to the eBay boards for help.  If it’s not anything truly antique, our personal recommendation is for the “other” category in Religious. That category number is 1447 — our old standby category.

In the title be sure to use the words “nun” and “Catholic” and whatever other dignified descriptive words you find. Again, see How NOT to sell your nun doll.

Pricing. Do your research. Don’t out price yourself. Our recommendation is to start low and put a reserve that you can live with on your listing. If you can hold off until the last week of November or through the first three weeks of December, good for you! Good luck and let us know how you do!

From the Mailbag: During the 1940’s, I was attending a Catholic grade school called St. Stephen’s, located at 1029 Bennington in Kansas City, Missouri.  I understand the name has been changed to Our Lady of Peace.  I never heard why St. Stephen, was not a good enough name for what used to be my parish. In 1949, one of my favorite nuns who was teaching me at that time was named Sister Mariella.  She was from the order of the Sisters of Charity, of Leavenworth, Kansas.  She told me that if I would bring her in a doll, she would make the clothes and dress her in the habit of the Sisters of Charity.  Her giving me that attention caused me to feel very special.  Of course, I did take her the doll and she made the clothing, dressed the doll and returned her to me.  That was always a very special doll to me and not one that I played with.  I kept her in a special box on the shelf of my closet.  She is still in that same box and is still on a shelf in my closet.  When I see that doll I am always reminded of Sister Mariella, who had a great positive influence on my early life and I say a little prayer for her, that she is now happy with Our Lord in heaven. I am now 66 years old and live in Colorado.  Although I am not a collector of nun dolls, I do treasure that very special doll that was dressed and then given to me by Sister Mariella, so many years ago.

Important Notes to Our Readers:

The nun dolls  you see below are “only” a virtual museum of nun dolls.

The “only” is in quotes because this page took an enormous amount of work to create.

We don’t sell them. Click the link below to view dolls on sale now.

If you have nun dolls you’d like to offer for sale, let us know.

We will be happy to showcase them

for a small fee to help offset the cost of running this site.

This page is now the most popular website for nun dolls on the internet.



Please click on each image for a larger view

Composition Dolls

What is a Composition Doll? It is a dense mixture of sawdust and glue, made from 1909 through the 1940s. Learn more here

12″ Composition Nun Doll. 

Asking Price $99.98. No Sale

1940 Mary Hoyer Composition Nun Doll. $13.48


Composition doll. One arm missing. No size indicated. $5.00


7″ Composition marked Germany. $20.50

13″ Composition Nun Doll. $9.99


9″ Composition Nun Doll. Czechoslovakia. Asking price $29. No Sale.

C.M. Bergmann doll.  Socketed bisque head, ball-jointed composition body.  Head is marked “C.M. Bergmann, Waltershausen, Germany 1916. $192


18″ composition Nun Doll with sleep eyes.

Dates to 1930s. Sold for $65.99


11″ composition Nun Doll.

Note the modern plastic Crucifix which has been added on. Painted eyes.

Selling Price $13.29

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12″ composition nun doll. Dates to 1930s-early 1940s. Note the excellent photo of painted eyes. Selling price $15.11

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12.5″ composition nun doll. Painted eyes. $13.49


Listed as composition, but doubtful due to hair. 15″. Sold for $12.99

8″ Nun Doll in Original Box. Listed as composition, but dubious. Sold for $9.99

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Beautiful Armand Marseille 8″ nun doll. Bisque head, glass eyes, composition body. For sale on eBay February 2008. Asking $99

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12.5″ Toddler Style Composition. Amber eyes. For sale on eBay February 2008. Start $79


7.5″ Bernard Ravca Nun Doll with Tag. Dates to 1941 Offered on eBay February 2008. Start $50

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16″ Goebel Nun Doll with Bisque Head and Composition Body. Offered on eBay February 2008. Starting at $24.99

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Composition Head Nun Doll with Straw Body. Offered on eBay February 2008. This one bears watching.

Sister of Charity 17″ tall. Porcelain. $227


Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word

Blessings Nun Doll

17″ tall. Porcelain $202


18″ Geppeddo Doll. $10.50

Not a nun, but a Pope! 7 1/2″ tall.

Asking price $50. No sale.

Pair of Nun Dolls. Left Sun Rubber Co.

Tod-L-Dee #39. 12″.

On right 9″ blinky eye. $24.24


17″ Tall. No Further Information. $5.00. No Sale

Nun doll on musical powder box. No size indicated. $9.95


Nun doll. No size indicated. Asking price 99 cents. No Sale


6 1/2″ Italian World Wide Doll Club Nun Doll. $19.99

Anna Lee 1970s Nun Doll. $48

6″ China Head Nun Doll. $80


6″ China Head Nun Doll. $137


Ken and Barbie and Nun and Priest $65.00

Hard plastic nun doll. No size indicated. Asking price $35. No sale.


1948 Dominican Doll with original box. No size indicated. $51.00


8″ hard plastic nun doll. Asking Price $29.

No sale


19th century French china head nun doll. 8″. One leg broken off. $70.99

1998 Seymour Mann 16″ tall. $9.99


20″ Heubach Koppelsdorf Sister of Mercy $450

This is an excellent set of photos that shows every aspect of the doll

Saraff Character authentically designed and made entirely by hand. Composition. Monastic Doll Franciscan Sister Marked Bot. Nov. 16, 1945 Grace Fenton Danville, Illinois. Asking Price $50. No Sale.

Pair Gepperdo Nun Dolls. No size indicated. $19.90


16″ Miriam Nun Doll $4.00


Pair of 10″ Hard plastic Nun Dolls, blinky eyes. Asking Price $12.99. No sale.

Dolly Dingle “Sister Sweetie” by Bette Ball – Goebel. 11″ tall. Asking price $75. No sale.

Pair of Storybook Nun Dolls. 6 1/2″ and 7″ Tall. Selling Price $30.99


17″ Nun Doll. Asking Price $9.99. No Sale

Pair of Vintage Nun Dolls listed as coming with “beautiful jewelry” (we think they meant the Rosaries). No size indicated. $66.00

Porcelain Nun Doll. No size indicated. $15

10″ Nun Doll which has been affixed to a powder music box. Another example of how a bit more dignity could be used in photography. $9.99

Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration. New. No size indicated. Asking Price $59.99. No sale.

12″ Hard plastic. Selling Price $4.51 A good example of how not to photograph a nun doll.

16″ Cathy Depot Nun Doll with COA. Asking price $16.50. No Sale.

15″ Hard plastic Nun Doll. $15.50

Horsman 26″ Nun Doll. Hard plastic. Sleepy eyes. $39.99

Nun Habit for 18″ Doll. Asking Price $14.00. No Sale

Your Nun Doll

could be here

Classical Treasures Nun Doll with COA. No size indicated. Asking Price $15.50. No Sale.

Marian Yu Nun Doll with Certificate. 14″ Tall. Doll on left $49.95. Doll on right $30.99

19″ Porcelain Nun Doll. New in Box. Asking Price $9.99. No Sale.

1954 D&D Mfg. Nun Doll in Original Box. $25. Identical dolls sold for $37 and only 99 cents. What a pity.

16″ African American Nun Doll. $12.00

13″ Nun Doll. Asking Price $9.99 No Sale

K&H Nun Doll. No Size Indicated. Asking Price $14.99. No sale first listing. Sold $15.50 on second listing.

Princess Anna Nun Doll. No size indicated. Original Box. Asking Price $19.99. No Sale

Hard plastic sleepy eyed Nun Doll. 12″ $9.99

Nun Habit for 18″ Doll. Fits American Girl Dolls. Doll Not Included. $13.50.

Sega Anime Nun Doll. 1998. Asking Price $9.99. No Sale

6 1/2″ Nun Doll. $5.99

No size indicated for this Nun Doll. $7.99

Sister Mary Anne. Life Sized. Asking $119. No Sale

Sister Mary Margaret. Life Sized. Asking $119.     No Sale

Nancy Ann Storybook Nun Doll. 6.5″ tall. $10.49

16″ Hard plastic. Asking Price $9.99 Not Sold

7 1/2″ Poor Clare Colletine. Asking Price $24.99.  No Sale

1950s Saint Rose of Lima. Asking Price $80.00  No Sale

18″ Seymour Mann Nun Doll. Asking Price $17.99. No Sale

Ginny Nun Doll. Asking Price $39.99. No Sale

15″ Danice Maryknoll Sister. $152.00

10″ Vinyl Nun Doll. Asking Price $6.99 No Sale

12″ Hard plastic Nun Doll. $3.99

12″ Duckhouse Mother Teresa. $15.00

18″ Royal House of Dolls. Reverend Mother from Sound of Music. $19.99

10″ Hard plastic Nun Doll. $14.99

1970s Bradley Nun Doll Marked Sister Teresa. Cloth over wire. $36.00

Blinky eyed nun doll. 7″ tall. $9.50

Retired Madeleine Nun Doll. $31.50

Modern Nun Doll. 15″ tall. Selling Price $2.99

Seymour Mann Nun Doll with COA and Box. 1987. Asking Price $24.50. Not sold.

An enterprising person, Francis Bradley, has made her own nun dolls with crocheted habits. 6.5″ tall. Asking $18.49. No sale.

19″ Hard plastic nun doll. Marked USA Dolls. Selling price $26.00

Kingstate Nun Dolls new in package. 16″ Tall. Selling Price $44.77

Kimcraft American Type Doll 9″ $43.00

Barbie Nun Doll. Modified by owner.

Sold for $28.39

New porcelain Nun doll. 19″ tall. $42.99

Sears and Roebuck Happy Time Toys Nun Doll dates to 1970s.  9 1/2″ tall. $10.45.

How NOT to Sell Nun Dolls

Titles Some are too simple:

“Nun Doll” “Pretty Nun Doll” “Sweet Nun Doll”

are to the point but not quite enough.

The word “Elegant” doesn’t quite work either.

This makes my skin crawl:

“WOW!!! L@@K!!! SCARY NUN DOLL????????”


Use the proper terms for the parts of a nun’s habit if you are going to refer to them.

We do not need to know about their undergarments

Place any rosary at the belt, and if you wish, draped over a hand to show it more clearly. Do NOT put it around the neck. It is NOT a necklace.


Let’s have a little dignity, please.

We do not need to see Sister’s bloomers.

Stand her up.

Place her against a plain background.

Do not place her with other dolls.

Especially not dolls with their heads off.


Are you cringing yet? You will be soon. We did.
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For Goodness’ Sake!

What were these people thinking?!

Well, now you’re an expert on collecting nun dolls!  Let us know what you thought of this page. Email Us.

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Christine Hirschfeld

I never intended to run a Catholic antiquities and book business. Not in a million years. As a cradle Catholic, I grew up in a house that was filled with Catholic images and sacramentals not to mention an abundance of excellent books provided by family members who worked in publishing houses famous for their Catholic catalogues. The beautiful images and concepts presented in those books certainly had their effect in enhancing my identity as a Catholic. As the years passed, even in the midst of very un-Catholic settings, I became a repository for my friends’ Catholic “found objects.” Eventually, I had a family of my own. We’re a small family. There are just three of us. And two of us were born with the “junk collecting gene.” Garage sales attracted us like a magnet.
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