or: How to distinguish antique from modern dolls’ eyes
So, antique eyes.
The production of blown glass eyes for dolls was recorded after about 1830. And it is believed that at first blown eyes were used for dolls, and later for people who lost their eyes.
The manufacturing technology of glass blown eyes involves several stages:
1) creating an iris – a colored element with a pupil,
2) blowing a ball out of a glass tube,
3) connection of the ball with the iris.
Handcrafted glass eye
Before jumping straight into observations, let’s define some terms:
We will call antique glass doll eyes made around 1930.
The sclera is the white part of the eye.
The iris is the colored part of the eye.
The pupil is a black dot in the center of the iris.
The stroma is stripes and spirals in the iris.
The limbo is a colored ring around the iris.
1. The eyes are not completely ball-shaped, they have a “tail”. The tail of the eye has either an uneven edge or a melted one.
2. The elongated shape of the modern eye. Usually the eyes were round, and elongated were rare.
3. Snow-white tone and barely perceptible white-blue indicate the modernity of the eye. The large eye is antique, while the small ones are modern and have a thick white color. The white glass of the sclera of an antique eye always has a tint (gray in general).
4. The surface of the eyes has chips and scratches (natural wear and tear, chips and scratches can be very small).
5. The location of the pupil.
6. The pattern of the iris – the stroma – is different within the pair.
7. The color of the iris. The color of the iris can be blue (different intensities of gray, blue, gray-blue, blue, dark blue, and cobalt) and brown (different shades of tea, hazel, brown, dark brown, etc.) Green, yellow and purple eyes are not found in antique dolls.
8. Color and line of the stroma. In general, the stroma in blue eyes is white, in brown eyes, it is dark brown. Lines can be thick and thin, radial and curved, thick and sparse, loop-like and wavy. In short, all different kinds exist!