As one of the leading vendors of used mannequins, we get at lot inquires from people who need help identifying the manufacturer of their vintage mannequin. Typically they are seeking information to determine how much money they can make it they decide to sell the mannequin like vintage Twiggy mannequin.
Or they are seeking replacement parts for a mannequin that they purchased at a garage sale. In either scenario, here are our recommendations.
Post photos of your mannequin on the Facebook Group Vintage Mannequins the members in this group 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. Their collective experience far exceeds our knowledge about the value of mannequins.
If you are looking for replacement parts we sell some mannequin stands that will fit “most” mannequins that have a hole in the foot. Our mannequin hands are only for mannequins that are recently produced, but they you could “MacGyver” them on your vintage mannequin.
Occasionally we have replacement parts for Rootstein mannequins in our used mannequin section. But two vendors who consistently have replacement parts for Rootstein and other vintage mannequin vendors are Modern Mannequin Houston and RedbeauMannequins Georgia.
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, Ralph Pucci and Decter. The blog post here will give you some tips on how to identify what brand of mannequin you have by looking at the hardware.
Determining the resale value of a mannequin is not an exact science. We’ve sold a Rootstein mannequin in good condition for as little as $100 and others we’ve sold for close to the original retail price of $1,000.
For some brands like Ralph Pucci they have some collections that aren’t that very popular and others that are extremely poplar like this one by the artists Mara Kalman.
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 time mannequin collectors already have them.
4 Ethnicity – African American mannequins are harder to find because they were not widely produced. And many of the vintage ones have been “whitewashed” to look white so that means it is going to be expensive to restore it to its original skin tone. So buyers will factor that into what they are willing to pay for the purchase price.
5 Restoration Cost. We acquired a bunch of high coveted vintage Rootstein mannequins in with all their parts from a museum. Although they were in excellent condition structurally, especially given their age, unfortunately their realistic faces and bodies had been painted over.
They were either yellow or lilic, even the glass eyes on this Cher mannequin had been painted over. We did not get nearly as much as we could have as a result.
To determine what your mannequin is worth do some research to determine the brand, the series. You ask the members of the Facebook Group: Vintage Mannequins for information. And on our Pinterest board we have catalogues on Decter, Rootstein, Pucci, Greneker and Patina V. We have also wrote an extensively about Rootstein on our blog and have individual posts on almost all their mannequins
Once you have that info – and assuming you have a truly vintage mannequin and not a knock off – put it out to bid on Ebay. Die hard mannequin 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 search section and see what the price was of items that recently sold by that manufacturer.