In the Heien Period (794-1185), dolls were displayed as talisman to bring good luck or treated as amulets when placed by children’s bedsides to absorb evil spirits and thus protect the kids.
China head dolls are usually unmarked, some may have a mold number or doll makers mark on the back of the neck or on the shoulder plate, thus it can be impossible to pinpoint the doll maker, so dolls are described and identified by the type of hairstyle.
As hairstyles changed over the long history of China head doll making, dolls changed too, which gives us a clue to their dating.
Some of the more unique dolls were made of ivory and wax.
The main goal was to make the doll as "lifelike" as possible, which lead to the creation of dolls with movable limbs and removable garments and date back to 600 B. Following this era, Europe became a major hub for doll production and were primarily made of wood.
Most China dolls found, have molded painted hair, but some have a wig over a solid bald dome head.