I found an interesting couple of paragraphs online about the history of dolls to share with you:
The origins of the doll have been traced back by historians to religious rites of primitive societies. Historians further speculate that as beliefs faded, the importance of the doll waned. As a result, the dolls were handed down to children as toys. Evidence of the link between the doll and religious rites is supported by ancient Greek literature, in which girls were observed making clothing for their dolls and offering these valued playthings to the nymphs or to Artemis at the time of their engagement for marriage. Further evidence was noted by Boehn, a historian, on the practice of the Hopi Indians who, at the conclusion of ceremonial rites, gave the dolls to the children to play with.
The earliest samples of European dolls dated from the fourteenth century in Nuremberg, Germany. These dolls were modeled after children, monks, and women, dressed in the fashion of the time. One notable characteristic of these dolls was a circular hollow in the breast. It has been speculated that these cavities may have been designed to hold a christening gift, such as a florin. Archaeologists noted the existence of similar dolls in diggings, which indicated that these dolls were made in multiple numbers. These discoveries indicated that the doll industry was a thriving enterprise at this time. (Gadia-Smitley, 1987)
There are hundreds of listings under the keyword dolls on OLA. Here are some that I really like.
Until next time, happy shopping!