The Most Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls for Collectors

When it comes to vintage dolls, few are as iconic and beloved as those created by Madame Alexander. The Alexander Doll Company, founded by Beatrice Alexander Behrman in 1923, pioneered many firsts in the doll industry. Their dolls enchanted children while also becoming treasured collectibles for connoisseurs.

Today, rare and pristine Madame Alexander dolls from the early- to mid-20th century can command jaw-dropping prices at auction. If you‘re a collector, it pays to know which models are most coveted and valuable.

As a doll expert, I‘m excited to spotlight the rarest Madame Alexander dolls that avid collectors vie for. I‘ll share fascinating insights into these dolls‘ history, notable auction records, and tips for identifying and valuing them. Join me on a captivating journey through the world of Madame Alexander‘s most prized creations!

The Remarkable Story of Madame Alexander

Before we explore the dolls themselves, let‘s delve into the remarkable woman behind them. Beatrice Alexander Behrman, known as "Madame Alexander," was ahead of her time. She broke barriers as a successful female entrepreneur in the early 1900s.

Beatrice‘s fascinating journey began at her father‘s New York doll hospital. Crafting doll clothes during World War I sparked her lifelong passion. In 1923, she and her sisters took a leap of faith, founding the Alexander Doll Company.

Madame Alexander‘s vision was groundbreaking. She didn‘t just want to make beautiful dolls – she aimed to create dolls that would inspire and educate children. Her dolls represented diverse characters from literature, history, and different cultures. They allowed children to learn about the world beyond their own experiences.

The Alexander Doll Company innovated the industry with many "firsts" – including the first doll with moving eyelids and rooted hair. Madame Alexander‘s partnership with the film industry also led to wildly popular dolls depicting stars like Scarlett O‘Hara and Judy Garland as Dorothy.

Madame Alexander‘s legacy endures today. Her dolls captured the imaginations of generations and are now treasured family heirlooms passed down with love. With this rich history in mind, let‘s uncover the stories behind her most valuable dolls.

The Rarest and Most Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls

Madame Alexander produced a vast array of captivating dolls over many decades. However, some dolls stand out as the rarest of the rare. These elusive gems send collectors‘ hearts racing and auction paddles waving! Here are the most coveted Madame Alexander dolls and what makes them so extraordinarily valuable.

1. Madame Alexander 1934-1938 Composition Dolls

Some of Madame Alexander‘s earliest and rarest treasures are her 1930s composition dolls. Made of molded composite material with hand-painted features, these dolls were produced during the heart of the Great Depression. Few survived the test of time in good condition, making pristine examples extremely valuable.

Notable dolls from this era include the Degas Ballerina doll from 1934, capturing the grace of a ballerina in a fluffy pink tutu. In 2019, a Degas Ballerina in excellent condition pirouetted her way to $8,500 at auction! Other prized composition dolls include the Portrait Series, depicting historical figures like Marie Antoinette. An exceptional Marie Antoinette doll waltzed off for a staggering $20,000 at a Theriault‘s auction.

2. Madame Alexander 1950s Cissy Dolls

The 1950s ushered in a new era of fashion dolls, and Madame Alexander‘s Cissy was at the forefront. Cissy dolls, with their lifelike figures and high-end wardrobes, are considered America‘s first true fashion dolls. They captivated young girls who aspired to be as stylish and poised as Cissy.

Among the most coveted Cissy dolls are the Costume Series, showcasing her in various glamorous guises. In 2020, a divine 1954 Cissy "Forever Darling" Bride doll, resplendent in yards of lace, sold for an astonishing $17,000! Other sought-after Cissy dolls include a chic 1958 Librarian Cissy, who commanded $4,449 in 2022.

3. Madame Alexander Limited Edition Celebrity Dolls

Madame Alexander‘s uncanny ability to capture the likenesses of Hollywood stars in doll form made her celebrity editions wildly popular. Her early celebrity dolls from the 1930s-1950s, typically made of hard plastic or vinyl, are now extremely valuable due to their rarity and historical significance.

The Academy Award Collection is a shining example, featuring dolls dressed in replica gowns worn by Best Actress Oscar winners. The Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O‘Hara doll is a standout, with one 1940 doll in a rare yellow chiffon gown selling for $2,200 in 2019. Other prized celebrity dolls include the 1955 Lucille Ball Bride doll, with one selling for $5,000 in 2022 despite minor flaws.

4. Madame Alexander 1930s-1940s Disney Character Dolls

Madame Alexander‘s early partnership with Disney resulted in some of her most valuable and historically significant dolls. These rare cloth and composition dolls brought beloved animated characters to life, much to the delight of children and collectors.

One of the most extraordinary examples is a set of 1938 marionettes from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," complete with the original stage. This incredible set sold for $3,500 in 2019! Another highly prized set is the 1933 Three Little Pigs, which brought home $2,600 that same year.

5. Madame Alexander Commemorative Royal Dolls

Madame Alexander celebrated milestones of the British royal family through exquisite commemorative dolls. These regal beauties, often produced in limited quantities, are highly prized by collectors worldwide.

The crowning glory is undoubtedly the dolls created for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. A magnificent Estrella doll clad in full coronation regalia sold for a jaw-dropping $5,100 in 2022. The Queen Elizabeth doll in her iconic coronation dress is another treasure, with one selling for $1,595, also in 2022.

Tips for Identifying and Valuing Madame Alexander Dolls

Now that you‘re acquainted with some of the most valuable Madame Alexander dolls, you may be wondering how to identify and value your own dolls. As an expert, I‘m happy to share some key tips to help you navigate the exciting world of Madame Alexander collecting!

1. Identify the Doll‘s Model and Series

Start by carefully examining your doll for any tags, markings, or labels that indicate the model name or series. Madame Alexander dolls often have tags on their clothing or bodies with valuable identifying information. Research the specific model and series online or in Madame Alexander doll reference books to learn more about its rarity and value.

2. Assess the Doll‘s Condition

A doll‘s condition plays a crucial role in its value. Carefully examine the doll from head to toe, noting any cracks, crazing, missing parts, or repairs. Dolls in pristine condition with minimal wear are the most valuable, while those with significant damage or restoration may be worth considerably less.

3. Verify Authenticity

Sadly, counterfeit Madame Alexander dolls do exist. To ensure you have a genuine doll, familiarize yourself with the characteristics of authentic dolls from the specific era. Pay close attention to the quality of the materials, the distinctiveness of the facial features, and the presence of proper markings and tags.

4. Research Comparable Sales

To gauge your doll‘s current market value, research recent sales of comparable dolls. Check online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, as well as auction house results for Madame Alexander dolls. Pay attention to dolls with similar models, series, conditions, and sale dates to get the most accurate idea of your doll‘s potential value.

5. Consult Madame Alexander Doll Price Guides

Investing in a reputable Madame Alexander doll price guide can be incredibly helpful. These guides provide detailed information on various models, series, and their estimated values. Some popular options include "Madame Alexander Dolls: An American Legend" by Patricia R. Smith and "Madame Alexander Dolls: 4th Collector‘s Price Guide" by Linda Crowsey.

Buying and Selling Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls

If you‘re ready to start or expand your collection of valuable Madame Alexander dolls, or if you‘re considering selling a treasured doll, there are several avenues to explore. As a seasoned collector, I‘m delighted to share some tips to help you navigate the market with confidence.

Buying Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls

When purchasing a valuable Madame Alexander doll, always prioritize reputable sellers and thoroughly research the doll‘s authenticity and condition. Some excellent places to find dolls include:

  • Online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, where you can find a wide variety of dolls from different eras and price points. Be sure to read seller reviews and ask for additional photos or information if needed.
  • Doll shows and conventions, which offer the opportunity to see dolls in person and connect with knowledgeable dealers and collectors.
  • Auction houses that specialize in antique and vintage dolls, such as Theriault‘s. These auctions often feature rare and high-value dolls, and bidding can be done in person or online.

Selling Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls

If you‘re ready to part with a valuable Madame Alexander doll, consider these options:

  • Online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, where you can reach a wide audience of potential buyers. Be sure to provide detailed descriptions, clear photos, and accurate condition assessments to attract serious collectors.
  • Consignment with a reputable doll dealer or auction house. This option allows you to leverage their expertise and network to potentially secure a higher selling price.
  • Doll shows and conventions, where you can connect directly with interested buyers and negotiate prices in person.

Remember, when buying or selling valuable dolls, knowledge is power. The more you educate yourself about Madame Alexander dolls, their history, and the current market, the better equipped you‘ll be to make informed decisions and secure the best possible deals.

Conclusion

Madame Alexander dolls have captivated hearts for nearly a century, and the most valuable among them are true treasures. From the earliest 1930s composition dolls to the glamorous 1950s Cissy dolls and beyond, these dolls represent the pinnacle of craftsmanship and artistry.

As an expert and passionate collector, I hope this guide has illuminated the stories behind the most sought-after Madame Alexander dolls and provided valuable insights into identifying, valuing, buying, and selling these incredible pieces of history.

Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or just starting your journey, always remember the joy and wonder that these dolls have brought to countless lives. Cherish the ones you have, and happy hunting for those elusive rare gems!

Do you have a favorite valuable Madame Alexander doll? Share your stories and experiences in the comments below – I‘d love to hear from fellow enthusiasts!

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