Bisque Bye-Lo Baby

The Bye-Lo Baby was designed by Grace Storey Putnam to represent a three day old infant. The bisque head dolls are marked 1923 by Grace S. Putnam Made in Germany on the back of the neck and were manufactured by such companies as J.D. Kestner, Alt, Beck & Gottschalck, Hertel & Schwab and others. The cloth body was made by K & K Toy Co. of New York and was often stamped "Bye-Lo Baby". The doll's hands were either celluloid or composition. The bisque head dolls came in different head circumference sizes (8", 10", 12", 15", and 17"). The larger sizes seem to have a higher value. The eyes were made to open and close. Although some people think the dolls are unattractive, these baby dolls continue to be very popular among antique doll collectors today.

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 07:51:27 PM in Dolls-from-the-1920s

By janie


  • Hello,
    I have a doll stamped "Grace S. Putnam, Made in Germany" at the back of the neck. The doll is 15" long with painted on features i.e. blue eyes, pink lips, etc. The doll has a flanged head and hands with a cotton body dressed in what appears to be light blue sleeper/pj's, the odd thing about the doll is that it has no other markings such as a date or trade mark. Can you give me any information or worth of the doll?
    Thank you,


    I also have one of these dolls with painted eyes , big head. Grace s putman on the neck with germany on it also. Can't seem to find anything on this one. They keep tellin me the eyes open and close. they also tell me there is a voice box in the cloth body. I don't find this either. If you find any info I would appreciate it. Have had mine for about 30 years and it was given to me by an old lady Thanks Karen

  • Would love to hear from someone who is familiar with a 12" circumference Bye-Lo Baby with solid painted blue eyes. Thanks for your visit, Steve. Come back again soon! :)

    Hi Steve this is late but would love to see the picture of this doll if you did not sell it . Lynda Thanks

  • I have a doll that that says, " copr by Grace S. Putnam Germany" on the dolls back. The doll is entirely made of bisqe. The head, arms and legs are attached to the body with some time of stretching thread and metal hooks for movement. I believe it is a Bye-Lo Baby doll. It doesn't have any clothing. It is in pretty good shape, except a few toes are a little chipped. The doll is about 8 to 12 inches long. I have pictures. Could tell the appox value of it?

    I also have a doll like this. She is 6" long in excellent shape. Her eyes open and close. Am having trouble getting any info. Have you had any replys?
    Love to hear from you

  • My best friend gave me a Bye-lo baby doll for my birthday three years ago. It is marked "Grace S. Putnam, 1923 on the back of her neck. She is about 18 inches long and in an original Christening gown. I was told she is valuable. Just how valuable I don't know. Could someone give me an inkling?

  • Melinda, What is your doll made of? Does she have a bisque head or composition? Does she have a cloth body stamped with the Bye-Lo Baby mark? Are hands composition or celluloid? Doll values have currently dropped a bit. I paid $400.00 for the doll pictured. I think that is on the high side these days. Thanks for your comment. Please give a bit more info. Thanks.

  • Thank you, Janie,

    I forgot to tell you her head is bisque with the lower part made of cloth. You've been a real help.

  • My mom and sister recently bought two dolls at a yard sale with the markings "©1923 - Grace S. Putnam - Made in Germany" on the back of the heads. One is a girl, and the other is a boy, and they both look to be in good condition with the original clothes. The only thing is, their eyes do not open and close; they are painted on, instead. I've tried to research them online, and I am only finding information about the Bye-Lo baby. Does anyone know what doll these are, and the approximate value? If you need, I could take a few pictures of them, as well.

    Thank you so much! :o)


    maybe you could help me i too bought a black doll to day at sale it says what your says and at topext to date on right is a 6 3 or b j i am not sure any help would be rercieved with great apprication thanks gary

    Those dolls can be worth anywhere from $595.00 to $800.00.
    That was a great find!

    Racheal I have the same doll I found at an Estate sale where unfortunatly an older lady had passed away. The doll is "bisque" cloth body, no markings on her cloth back, on the back of neck says " c 1923 by
    Grace s Putnam" and the rest of the neck is covered by the cloth of the body and cant tell without removing the head if it says more. The eyes are also painted on blue, eye lashes light brown/blondish, as well as eye brows, lips light pink and hair light blond tint. ( Maybe even strawberry blond as well as eyelashes and eye brows can't decide.
    I to can't find any information on this amazing looking doll. Anyone have any potential facts?

  • Rachel,

    Thanks for your comment and reply to me. Take care of those very sweet baby dolls!


    I also have the same doll I found at an Estate sale where unfortunatly an older lady had passed away. The doll is “bisque” cloth body, no markings on her cloth back, on the back of neck says ” c 1923 by
    Grace s Putnam” and the rest of the neck is covered by the cloth of the body and cant tell without removing the head if it says more. The eyes are also painted on blue, eye lashes light brown/blondish, as well as eye brows, lips light pink and hair light blond tint. ( Maybe even strawberry blond as well as eyelashes and eye brows can’t decide.
    I to can’t find any information on this amazing looking doll. Anyone have any potential facts?

  • I have a Grace S. Putnam, Made in Germay Bye lo Baby which belonged to my mother in law. She has a bisque head w/eyes which open/close, composition hands, cloth body and her original clothes w/the tag. She also use to say "mama" but doesn't now. Who should I take her to for an estimate? She has a broken finger which is glued in place.

  • Ann,

    How long is your doll? What is the circumference of her head? Do you see any hair line cracks in the bisque head? The best bet for an appraisal would be a doll dealer who is near your location. You might find a dealer in the yellow pages or a local doll show. Often times the owner of a local antique shop knows of a doll expert. You can also try eBay to see if any Bye-Los resemble yours and watch the auctions. I hope this helps. Thanks for your question.

  • I have a Grace S Putnam doll made in Germany but it does not have the bye lo baby on it. It is in perfect condition. It has the bisque head 8" and the eyes are painted blue. There is some writing on her stomach but can not make it out. I can read copy, pat., looks like a B and a H. I got it from a 93 year old aunt. If you can help me in any way would be great. Thank you. Sue

  • Hi. Your post Bisque Head Grace S. Putnam Bye-Lo Baby is very interesting for me. My written English is not so good so I write in German: "Lieber den Spatz in der Hand, als die Taube auf dem Dach." Yours sincerely Thursday Grace

  • I have a doll my aunt told me was a Bye-Lo but the marking on the back of the neck is the initials A.M. with Germany under it and under that a number. Does anyone know anything about this marking? Is is a Bye-Lo?

  • Janie,
    I have a 12" circumference Bye-Lo Baby, who has solid painted blue eyes. Her head & hands are bisque, while her body is cloth. She is in immaculant condition, & is very beautiful. The back of her head is "Copr. by Grace S. Putnam Made in Germany" There is no date, that I can see. Also, quite surprisingly, the baby has a perfectly preserved partial thumb or finger print, above one ear. (Not sure if it would be makers?) PLEASE contact me in regards to ANY info/Price value info you may have on her.

  • Hi CJ,
    Your doll is called "Dream Baby" made to resemble the very popular Bye-Lo. She was made by the German company Armand Marseille. They are wonderful dolls. Enjoy!

  • I also have two doll heads(like CJ) that I was always told( by Mom) were Bye-Lo dolls but the marking on the back of the heads are ( AM GERMANY) I was so glad to read from janie what the AM stands for. Thank you MaryAnn

  • I have a bye lo baby who has a bisque head, eaarly 1900, sleep brown eyes, celluloid hands, and on back of head, grace s. putman, copr, and on cloth body with bowed legs Bye-Lo_Baby , pat-appl'd for, nextline is copy by Crace Storey Putnam in red. Doll is in excellent condition , no clothes, body is soiled. I found it at church and want to sell it, how would I go about it ?

  • Hello, I have a HUGE antique Bye-lo baby doll and was wondering what this rare size is worth in todays market. The dolls length is 20inches and her head is 18 cir the hands are large celluloid with the Germany and turtle stamp on each. It wears a real baby christening gown from the early 1900's that is over 30 inches long and in great condition, the body is in fantastic shape (never been played with) and the glass eyes are blue. I have never seen another antique Bye-lo this large and although the head needs cleaning from years of storage it's coloring is fantastic. Thanks

  • I have a doll mark with a G with a circle around it 1923 DY Grace S Putnam made in germany.It has painted eyes,nose,lips.15 inches circle head,all fingers and toes 16 inches in length.I'm not forsure if her clothes are original.Any information will be great.

  • Susan, Your doll is marked with a Circle around a "C" which stands for the word copyright. 1923 By Grace S. Putnam Made in Germany. I can't give you much more info unless you tell me about the material that her head, hands and body are made of. It would also be very helpful if you could email me a photo. Thanks for your visit.

  • We're looking for a ballpark value of my 90-year old mother-in-law's Grace Putnam doll. It appears to be a bisque head circumf 10", open/close eyes, no cracks. She is about 12" long with a cloth body. I don't know the difference between composition or celluloid for the hands, but her left hand has two broken fingers. It appears to be in an original christening outfit. It also appears to have some sort of circular thing in her body that may have made a noise at one time. My mother-in law is of the "strong" opinion that it is worth $500. I've been looking on e-bay and see they get about $150. Is that the best place to find the value? I don't know what to do to convince her it is not worth $500. I can't find an antique doll expert in my town.

  • Hello, I'm trieing to find out some info about a doll I have found and would like to know more about it ? She has a big bold print' K' on the back of her neck .she looks like an antique wizard of ozz doll but yet she looks like a Alice in wouderland doll too. She has a white and blue checkerd dress and her hair is blonde and in braids. Her body is cloth ,and staw but her head seems to either be porcilian or possibly paper machae.

  • Hello, i have just a small query i have a Grace Putnam baby by-lo doll she has a 12inch bisque head, celluloid hands i was wondering if anybody knows what year she was made she has brown eyes that open and close and she seems to be wearing some type of vest and nappy that are very fragile the slightest touch and the fabric breaks away are they the original clothing? .she has a hairline fracture on her head if she didn't have this damage does anybody know what her value would be.

  • i have a 1923 grace putman doll head #7173148 boy with blue eyes and
    redish brown hair,eyes do not open and close,painted on,would you
    give me a low asking price i need to sell. thank you pam/indpls indiana

  • I have a 12" Grace Storey C 1923's brown eyes. Cloth body, celluloid hands, compositon face. Does anyone know about Grace Storey before Putman?

  • Does anyone know anything about a black putnam doll? I have one here and can't seem to find any infoon a black one

  • I have a doll head. It is bisque, painted face and on the back, lower neck is faintly incised Grace S. Putman. I cannot read the writing below it but think it is made in Germany. I have no doubt it is a Bye-Lo-Baby but whether it is the real thing or fake?

    Could there be anything else written on the doll head instead of made in Germany?

    Thank you, Ros

    Ros, I also have the same doll that you desccribed, the part that I cant read no further than c 1923 by Grace S Putnam...can't read any further. Eyes are also painted blue with strawberry bold (tint of brown) eye lashes and eye brows hair seems mostly strawberry blond.
    Have you found any info?

  • I also have a bisque head, unpainted. The ears are pierced which I have not seen on the other Bye-lo dolls. On the back is written copr by Grace S Putnam made in Germany. Off to the side a bit is #1 with the 1 written in the German style. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Lynn

  • I have a doll head created by her, with no eyes and no body attached. How much would a doll head like this go for these days?

  • About 35 years ago i received a bye Lo baby doll in her box, a dealer at that time told me that Grace Putman visited many hospitals to find the perfect baby to use for making this doll , When she found this baby. she asked if sh3 could use this babies likeness for her new doll and molds were made and that was what I was told, at that time. The box had 1923 and sold then for $ 3.95 Her value has dropped by your price value I was tolde she was around $1,000 dollars back then so I am surprised at your values, Ella Marie

  • I have a 14 " (head 12.5") Bylo doll, cloth body composition head and hands. Open and close eyes, weighted. Back of head is Grace Storey
    Putnam (written like this with the Putnam below the Grace Storey) also a C with a dot in the center. What can you tell me about this doll? Age ? Have not been able to find anything about the composition headed Bylo Babies.

  • I am not as familiar with the composition dolls as the bisque. I know that the composition dolls were very plentiful during 1930's-1940's. Hopefully, a reader will be able to help. Thanks for your comment.

  • I have a black bye-lo baby, with working voice box, porcelain head with brown glass eyes. Clean, intact cloth body (frog legs), and celluloid hands. Doll is dressed in felt diaper, and felt pink/white striped top.

    Head circ. 14 inches, body is 19 inches in length. Back of head is marked Corp. by Grace S. Putman, made in Germany.

    Does anyone have info on a black bye-lo by Grace? I have not been able to find any information. Thanks

  • I found this info at

       Toys as History:

    Ethnic Images and Cultural Change
    by Pamela B. Nelson

    In the early 1920's a remarkably realistic Black infant doll was designed by American Grace S. Putnam, produced by one of the major doll manufacturers in Germany, and distributed in the United States. It and a similarly realistic white doll were known as "Bye-Lo babies." Although many Black dolls were manufactured during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they usually were stereotyped as mammies or pickaninnies. The Bye-Lo baby was typical of the new trend toward realistic play, and despite the manufacturer's fear that the dolls were too realistic to sell successfully, they became top-sellers.

  • I have a Bye-lo baby with a bisque head and cloth body in excellent condition. My mother said it belonged to her aunt who got it in 1920. It still has the originial tag on the front of the dress telling what it is. It is about 16" long. Could someone tell me what it is worth.

  • I have a doll with a bisque head and cloth body. The head is stamped with "Copr by Grace S Putnam Made in Germany." Her body is cloth and hands are composition. She is about 12" long and has a 10" head circumference. No where can I find a date. Her eyes are permanently closed but at one time must have opened and closed. She must have made a sound at one time as I can detect such a device on her back. Is this a Bye-lo baby? Any idea as to the date it may have been made? It belonged to my mother who was born in 1914.

  • I have what I believe is a Bye-lo baby. She was GIVEN to My 6 year-old daughter by a kind elderly antique dealer at a local street fair in Auburn, CA. She is marked "Copr by Grace S. Putnam Made in Germany." Her brown eyes are fixed and appear to be glass. Her hands appear to be bisque or similar and one hand has two glued-on fingers. Her head is 14.5" in circumference and is about 18" long. Her body is cloth but I found no markings indicating she's a Bye-lo. Also, her legs/feet are also bisque feet. I'm guessing her body has been replaced over the years? Any ideas on her worth? I'm afraid to let my daughter play with her now! Thanks!

  • I have an 11" doll with a Bye Lo type head, cloth body, composition hands
    and blue sleep eyes. Stamped on back of head is Germany and below
    are M00 2oX and appears to be stuffed with hair. Is this possible and
    is this a Bye Lo. She is a very old doll. Thank you, Carolyn

  • I just bought a darling brown eyed 9 inch bye lo baby with a frog body in a wicker basket. I'm going to repair her broken head this winter and dress her. I'd like to find booties for her and I'd love to hear how you would clean her very dusty dirty body. I'd also like to know how you would repair the head. What kind of glue should I use?
    Thanks, J. Savage

    I am Happy to report that I just finished the restoration of this doll! She is closer to 8 inches long and she is adorable! I'm very proud of her because she can be displayed with other bye lo baby dolls in my antique baby buggy! Check it out on facebook!

  • I was given a doll by my mother it is stamped copyright 1923 by grace s. putnum made in jncermany there is also a "78 and an AW. can you comment on this?


  • I have a what I was told is a 1942 Bye-Lo (copy Grace S. Putnum. It has a bisque 17" head and frog-style cloth body. It is in excellent condition, however, the christening dress is not original. Does anyone know how much would be a fair asking price online?

  • Hello!
    I bought a doll from the thrift store. On the back says; Copr by Grace S. Putman, Germany, Cornelia and the number 1983. On the back of the neck is Cornelia. The whole body is porcelain, I think, movable arms and legs, painted eyes, lips and hair. It is 5 inches long. The writing is etched in. Is this a reproduction or they still make these? Is 1983 the date made. Thanks for your time. Gayle

    My guess is that this is modern (1983) reproduction porcelain doll mold for doll artists. I hope this helps. Thanks for your comment.

    also please if you could not only answer my first question here is one more description of my doll, the cloth body is also frog type. Bisque head and hands and frog type cloth body. Painted on blue eyes with strawberry blond type colered eye lashes, eye brows and hair. Markings on the back of the neck says " c 1923 by Grace S Putman ( faintly) and if there are more marking would not be able to tell since the cloth covers anything that may be there. I could find out for sure if I removed the head but not willing to do so. Please please please, Janie if you can help me with any ifo not aready mentioned, reply back.

    Thank You so Very much.
    Tosha C

  • Hello, I am trying to sell my grandmother's antique doll collection, but I'm not an expert in antiques. I have picked up bits of information here and there, have done research online and used her notes to provide some information about the dolls she had.

    I have two Bye-Lo Baby dolls that I could use more information on, especially a reasonable price range.

    One measures 13.5 inches. It has a bisque head with eyes and open and close. The eyes are brown. The head is in excellent shape—no chips, cracks, etc. On the base of the head, it reads: “Copr by Grace S. Putnam. Made in Germany”. The hands are made of celluloid and are in excellent condition. The doll has a stuffed, cloth body. It is all original.

    The second measures 14 inches. It has a composition head and blue sleep eyes. On the back of the head, it says, "Copr by G.S. Putnam. Made in USA." It has a cloth body and the hands are made of celluloid.


  • I have two dolls with different features. #1 is marked on the neck "Grace Putnam / MADE IN GERMANY" . She is approx. 12". The body appears a frog type that was machine stitched with arms attached bia hand stitching and the head and hands appear bisque. She has inset blue eyes that do not close and there are lashes painted on with pink lips and nostrils. Her hair is also lightly painted on. She is unique with tears on her face. #2 is marked on the neck "By Grace Putnam / Made In Germany". She is approx. 8 1/2" long with a frog type body. She has blue painted eyes, lashes, mouth, and hair. Both hands and head are bisque. Machine stitched body with hand stitched arms. Unfortunately, one of the dolls fingers is missing. How can I tell if these are from the early 1900's or if it is a reproduction? Are these of any value?

  • i have recently purchased a bye-lo-baby at a estate sale, markings on neck 1977mmshe drinks and wets. she is in her origianal box still attaced in box. where would i find out her value. my daughter picked her out, do i let her play or look at. ty

  • My aunt just gave me a doll a few weeks ago. On the back of her neck it says COPR BY GRACE S PUTNAM MADE IN GERMANY 1373/48. It has a cloth body and I have what I think is the orginal clothes. I was hoping to get more info on the doll. If you know anything please let me know.

    Thank you

    Did you find out anything about your doll last year? I also have one that is marked on the back of the neck - Copr by Grace S Putnam MADE IN GERMANY and 1373/50. It seems to be a sibling of yours!

  • Hi! I have a Bye Lo Baby with a crier box which does not work. It seems to be pretty common that these devices aren't in working condition. My husband removed the crier box from my Bye Lo with the intentions of trying to fix it, but he can't figure out exactly why it's not working. Has anyone successfully ever fixed a crier box? And, if so, would you be able to give us directions on how to do it? We'd appreciate any help & knowledge anyone could give us.
    Thanks very much!! :-)
    P.S. It is a 1924 Ronson Crier.

  • HI,
    I have a bylo doll, it is 6ins long in christening gown (i believe its the original) but not sure of this. on her back she has bylo engraved on, also it has u/k eng 1980 or 19810 can't read it ha,also it has 20D/m16. is she worth something?
    kind regards Rachel Toney.

  • OH i forgot to say she is bisque i believe top to bottom, and she wears a nappie.
    Kind Regards Rachel Toney.

  • i have this giant boy doll cannot make out name on back of neck..stands appx 32 inches tall composite head/hands...looks like last part of signed is ny..straw suffed..would like to sell but do not know anything about value circa? probably 30s? can anyone out there enlighten me on the subject? thanxxxx bobby

Add comment

Signin or Signup to comment