Since we sell a lot of used mannequins, we get inquires all the time from people trying to identify the maker of their vintage mannequin. Typically they are seeking info to either find replacement parts for a vintage mannequin or to see if they can sell their mannequin for a lot of money.
Because we are NOT experts in identifying vintage mannequins, this guide will tell you what we do know. If you need additional help identifying the brand of mannequin you have, we suggest you join the Facebook group Vintage Mannequins whose members are mannequin collectors from all over the world. Many of them were former visual merchandisers and have personally worked with all the top mannequin brands.
The most sought after mannequin brands by collectors and the ones with the highest resale value are: Rootstein, John Nissan, Patina V, Wolf and Vine and Decter.
A few people are interested in Ralph Pucci mannequins – but only those from certain collections by specific artists – like Mara Kalman for example.
The resale value of the mannequin depends upon these factors:
1 Condition – mannequins with broken or missing parts are not going to be as value because the high cost of repair/replacement.
2 Pose – sitting, reclining, leaning or partner series mannequins are harder to find than a mannequin standing upright, so they tend to be more sought after.
3 Series – a hard to find Rootstein mannequin like Cher, Joan Collins, Twiggy or Donaluna is going to bring a lot more money even if it is damaged. But a Rootstein in mint condition from a series that was reproduced more widely, like the Lipstick or Calendar girl might not bring in as much money because all the long term mannequin collectors already have them.
BTW, if you love Rootstein mannequins, we have this board on Pinterest devoted to images of (mostly) vintage Rootstein mannequins. Many of them are Rootstein mannequins that we sold over the years in our mannequin recycling business.
We have an email list of Rootstein collectors and they get first dibs on our new arrivals BEFORE we post them on our website. If you are interested in buying Rootstein’s check our website to see what we have and then send us an email so we can add you to our collector’s list.
To determine what your vintage mannequin is worth, the best option would be to put it out to bid on Ebay. Collectors tend to search Ebay for hard to find items.
Before you post, I suggest you watch Ebay for awhile to see what the going rate is for your brand of mannequin. Look at the mannequins that are selling at the higher price ranges. Or put the name of the manufacturer in the keywords and see what people are asking for them.
Selling used mannequins is a lot like selling used cars – it is worth only what the buyer is willing to pay. We’ve sold some Rootstein mannequins for as little as $80 and others we’ve sold for close to the normal retail price of a brand new one.
We had a bunch of vintage Rootstein mannequins (including the Cher below) which had been painted over by the musuem where we recycled them from. Even the glass eyes had been painted over.
So although the mannequins were highly sought after, their value was diminished because of the amount of work the collector was going to have to do (or pay for) to get the mannequin back to looking realistic.
For help in identify what BRAND of mannequin you have, check out this blog post.