Growing up, we all had a toy we would refuse to be separated from, and I was no different to this. Rose-coloured cheeks with intricate tailor details, dolls were a source of happiness and contentment when it came to many children and me alike today.
I’ve been an avid collector my whole life, gradually developing a taste in dolls and other antique toys. Calling myself that, it is vital for me and everyone interested to recognize minute details so that you don’t end up cash-strapped
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when it comes to dolls. For this, in the remainder of this article, I will list 15 of the most valuable Madame Alexander Dolls. I will also cover questions related to the price and value, including the identification process, how much it is worth, why the value is so high, and active marketplaces for buying and selling.
Dolls: An Overview:
A familiar children’s toy, or a collector’s golden box, dolls have remained a constant part of human civilization for thousands of years.
Dating back to 2100 BC as part of Egyptian tombs, archeologists labelled dolls as the oldest known toy. Similarly, dolls with removable clothing and movable limbs have been seen as early as 200 BC.
The earliest dolls were made from easily accessible materials, such as clay, wood, stone, ivory, bone, wax, and leather. As time progressed, makers shifted doll making to items as bizarre as dried leaves and corn husks.
Following the industrial revolution, doll makers made dolls’ heads with porcelain in combination with a body wood, cloth, leather, or a mix of sawdust, glue or similar materials.
With the invention of plastic in the 20th century, doll making largely shifted to using these. The earliest material was rubber, slowly replaced by soft vinyl. Today, they are made of synthetic material, as well as porcelain.
Madame Alexander Dolls: A Brief History:
Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman, more commonly known by the name Madame Alexander, is a true American original. Not only is she accredited as the founder of Madame Alexander Doll Company, but also as the First Lady of dollmaking of the twentieth century.
An American manufacturer of dolls, the company was founded in New York in 1923. Madame Alexander designed her first doll in 1936, based on the character Scarlett O’Hara, from the movie Gone with the Wind, followed by the Dionne quintuplets in 1936.
Over the next 89 years, the company produced a wide variety of dolls until 2012, when it was sold to a company, Dollie & Me.
Madame Alexander viewed dolls as learning tools for children, something that could teach them empathy and compassion. She was a true visionary and contributor of her time, donating a wide variety of her designed dolls to Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum.
“Dolls can bring out the creative instincts in children” is one of the most iconic statements ever made by Madame Alexander. She widely popularized “sleeping eyes”, a mechanism that allows dolls to close their eyes and created a line of dolls honouring World War II veterans in the 1940s. The Madame Alexander Doll Company was the pioneer in manufacturing dolls made of plastic. In 1951, 52, 53, and 54, she was awarded the Fashion Academy Gold Medals for design.
In 1953, she designed a 36-doll series to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by the first fashion doll, “Cissy”, in 1955. Miniature versions of the Cissy dolls were introduced in 1957 by the name “Cissette”. Other notable dolls designed by herself include the Dionne quintuplets, Wendy, Pussycat, and dolls based on Alice in Wonderland, Sonja Henie, and Little Women.
The Madame Alexander’s doll club is a union of international doll enthusiasts inspired by Beatrice’s philosophy. The club also schedules events and conventions for its members and releases a doll yearly for them.
After 65 years of magic, Alexander officially retired and sold the company in 1985 before peacefully passing away in 1990. Her legacy is alive to this day as her company continues to produce dolls in New York City.
15 Most Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls:
Whether it’s the yard sale season or you’re an antique enthusiast trying to get your hands on “the right doll”, Madame Alexander dolls hold a special place in the history books for their remarkable design and the money they can fetch for their owners.
Not every doll is worth a fortune, but some can fetch a lot. Here’s a list of the 15 most valuable Madame Alexander dolls ever made:
1. Madame Alexandre Eloise Doll – $5 Million:
Wearing Christian Dior clothes, Oscar De Aa Renta fur, and Katherine Baumann accessories, Eloise is a doll hand-made by Madame Alexander herself. The doll is also decorated with Swarovski crystals and nine-carat diamonds.
Additionally, each doll comes with its own added accessories and a pet dog. There are only 5 of these fantastic dolls around the world. It was sold for a whopping $5 million as the most expensive Madame Alexander doll of all time!
2. Madame Alexander “Fashion of a Century” Doll – $25,000:
This doll, model 6018, belonging to the series “Fashion of a Century” and created for the mid-century Exposition of 1950, was recently auctioned for $25000.
A scarce piece, it was in near-mint condition and had all its accessories intact.
3. The Marie Antoinette Doll – $20,000:
A 21″ composition doll designed from 1942-1946, she will bring in a lot of cash. According to experts, the doll sold for such an amount because the company made it from composition, a material made from sawdust-based composite, which was the mainstay in doll manufacturing before the invention of hard plastic.
The doll reflects Marie Antoinette of the Royal Court of England. Famous for her extravagant costumes with fine details, the doll is a perfect embodiment.
Suppose you have a Marie Antoinette in its original packing and condition. In that case, you can collect an amount similar to the $20,000 the doll was recently auctioned for.
4. Magnificent Cissy as “Forever Darling” Bride Doll – $17,000:
With her hand-painted features, this remarkable piece is a 1956 doll designed by Madame Alexander herself.
Madame Alexander initially labelled it “Lucille Ball Forever Darling Bride Doll by Madame Alexander”. However, she failed to register it and so had to remove the tag.
Such an original piece, with the first “Lucille Ball Forever Darling Bride Doll” reference tag, is tough to find these days. It was recently sold at an auction for $17,000.
5. “Ballet Des Fleurs” Portrait Doll from the Mystery Series – $17,000:
A 21″ very rare portrait doll, belonging to the exclusive “Mystery Doll Series” of 1951, was what set forth the basis of Madame Alexander’s legacy as one of the finest doll-makers of all time.
This particular piece featured Burgundy hair and wore white Alencon embroidered lace with pieces of rhinestones and gorgeous silk flowers repeating.
The “Ballet Des Fleurs”, in mint condition, with all its original accessories intact, went for as much as $17,000 in an online auction.
6. Cissy in Aqua Flowered Skirt Doll – $7,000:
Curly bangs, a blonde wig, and hair pulled back into curls, another rare piece from 1960. This model wore a cotton skirt in a pink floral design and an attached pink sash.
A pale pink nylon top with almost everything a particular shade of pink, Cissy in this form was presented in a collection “Alexander” with a separate box, containing a pink hat and a wrist booklet.”
As part of the “As We Were” auction, this collector’s gold was sold for $7,000.
7. “Judy, A Debutante” from the Rare Mystery Portrait Series – $5,000:
Part of Madame Alexander Dolls, with no lipstick smudges, fascinating clothing, and not a hair out of place, Judy forms a part of the Rare Mystery Portrait Series from 1951.
Auburn hair drawn away from her face, thick eyelashes, and a Rhine-stone studded snood at her upper back, Judy steals the show with her pearl necklace and Rhine-stone earrings.
This 1951 Rare Mystery Portrait model was auctioned for $5000.
8. “Champs-Elysees” Portrait Doll from the Rare Mystery Portrait Series – $5,000:
Also known as the Lady with Rhinestone Beauty Mark, this model was exhibited as part of the Rare Mystery Portrait Series in 1951.
With an ash-blonde wig with bangs swept to expose her curls, her facial features are hand-painted with long eyelashes.
This model has a distinctive beauty mark on her left cheek and additional rhinestone accessories.
Champs-Elysees was able to bag the Fashion Academy Gold Medal of 1951 for Madame Alexander.
9. Cissy Doll with Wardrobe – $5,000:
Widely considered the first fashion dolls in America, Cissy dolls were released to the American public in 1955, 4 years before their counterpart, Barbie.
Coming in various iterations, these baby dolls were categorized as 20-21″ dolls with hundreds of different outfits. Depending upon the condition, original accessories, and the year of their make, Cissy dolls can sell for an uptick of $5000. This Cissy doll with a Wardrobe from 1955 was sold for $5000 at an auction.
10. Cissy with Trunk and Extensive Trousseau – $4,600:
The name was given to the first fashion dolls of America; this 20″ model of Cissy with curly bangs and shoulder-length curls is part of a metal steamer trunk containing clothes.
Original tagged costumes, 2 sets of pants, 4 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 hats, a basket, lingerie robe, two pairs of panties, a corsage, and purple gloves were made a part of this trunk.
A 1955-1957 series model, it was auctioned at $4600.
11. Cissy ‘Slyly Kissed’ Doll – $4,200:
Another of the first fashion doll created in America, Cissy is no stranger to this list. Known for their heavy attires, this model wore a blue satin dress with cap sleeves, a wide skirt and shortened with metallic braids.
This rare model is a part of the “A Child’s Dream Come True” series, which was introduced in 1955. It was auctioned off for $4200.
12. Cissy from Formal Gowns Series – $4,200:
1959, 20″ auburn-hair doll with short curly bangs and hair drawn in clusters at the nape, Cissy in her purple velvet sheath gown is a treat to the collector’s eye.
The three layers of tulle skirts in gradation below the hips, decorated with seven rosebuds, are described by the company as “gives the final dash of elegance”.
This model with an original envelope-style wrist tag was auctioned at $4200.
13. Cissy from Dolls to Remember Series – $4,200:
Yet again, Cissy, a 1958 model with curly bangs and curls at her nape, wears a Flamingo-Pink satin cocktail dress with a full skirt, pink rosebuds, rhinestone earrings, and a rare pearl bracelet.
The Madame Alexander Doll Making Company describes this model as “more than glamorous – she’s romantic, too”.
She was auctioned for $4200.
14. Cissy in a Rare Boxed Costume – $4,000:
With a brunette wig with straight bangs, hair drawn back into a cluster at the nape and crown, and a coronet of flowers to match the crown, Cissy reflects her true identity.
Covered in a blue-dotted Tulle ballgown, this 1959 model also exhibits a silver cross-strapped heel, pearl earring, bracelet, and necklace.
This rare boxed costume was auctioned at $4000.
15. Cissy in Lavender Butterfly-Print Dress with Purple Hat – $3,800:
The 1959 model of Cissy in Lavender Butterfly print dress forms the final part of the 15 most valuable Madame Alexander Dolls ever sold.
Blonde wig with curly bangs and hair drawn into arranged pageboy chignon at her nape shiny dress with a purple print of butterflies, these baby dolls were described by the company’s 1958 catalogue as “a most engaging cotton print”.
As part of the “As We Were” auction, it was sold for $3,800.
It is also worth mentioning that many models of Madame Alexander dolls, including Cissy, were auctioned on the first day of As We Were auction.
Madame Alexander Dolls Value and Price Guide:
To determine your doll’s value, you must first identify its model. Many guides on the market provide a complete database of all Madame Alexander dolls ever made. These include:
1) Doll Values: This digital resource can help you identify your doll and assess its price. It lists almost 5,300 models from Madame Alexander’s collection. You can easily find your doll by typing a keyword, part of the box number, or its name.
2) Madame Alexander Dolls: Price Guide: is a definitive identification guide for her dolls and lists almost 2000 dolls made between the 1920s and 2002.
3) Madame Alexander’s Ladies of Fashion: surveys the Madame Alexander dolls from 1946 to 1978.
4) Madame Alexander Store Exclusives And Limited Editions: This book focuses on the limited editions produced by the company since the 1980s.
5) Collector’s Encyclopedia of Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965: spanning the period of 1948-1965, the golden years of Madame Alexander’s hard plastic dolls, this guide provides illustrations and a comprehensive description of every model released during these years.
It is also worth mentioning that you can use the manufacturer’s markings and original packaging or contact a collector to identify your doll.
Do Madame Alexander Dolls Have Any Value?
Suppose you’re looking into old family heirlooms, or you’ve just come past Madame Alexander dolls at a garage sale; getting a top buck for them isn’t easy.
The dolls do have a value, depending on the model. Some help you hit the jackpot with collectors and enthusiasts, while others can only earn you a single figure.
Factors Affecting the Value:
As with all antiques, the price you’ll get for your Madame Alexander dolls is very much associated with the model’s condition and rarity. These vintage dolls are assessed by keeping in view a set of criteria:
- Age: the older the model is, the higher its price will fetch.
- Condition: this is the single most crucial factor for any antique. The presence of the doll’s original marking, its packaging and accessories all play a significant role in driving the value of your Madame Alexander showpiece. Older models in mint condition are listed at the highest prices.
- Rarity: Some dolls are produced by the thousands, while others form a limited-edition line. Portrait dolls from the “Mystery Series” are worth more than mass-produced dolls, owing to this factor.
- Demand: Some items are not desired as much as others, and this stands true for Madame Alexander dolls.
Methods to Estimate Values:
There are several different ways to assess and estimate the value of your Madame Alexander Doll. Some of these methods include:
Open Market Value:
It is the actual price paid for a doll at an auction.
Fair Market Value:
Before selling any doll, it is necessary to expose all relevant information to your doll. This value is the price the buyer and the seller mutually agree on.
It is the price of a newly released doll at a toy store or the price of a pre-loved doll at an antique store.
For newer models, this wholesale price depends upon the buying volume. It is almost 33-50% less than the retail value for second-hand dolls.
It is assessed by taking an average auction value of the same doll.
The prices of Madame Alexander dolls can vary, from $15 for the newly-released mass-produced models to an estimated high $20,000 for the limited edition dolls.
Buying and Selling of Madame Alexander Dolls:
Vintage dolls have a diverse market. Madame Alexander dolls, known for their finesse and craftsmanship, can be worth a lot or nothing. There are several routes you can consider taking when purchasing or selling these dolls:
This is the best method of getting the highest possible offer for your antique. However, auction houses take a cut-off for every sale, so it is essential to know what the house will charge before you put your item up for sale.
The United Federation of Dolls Clubs is a non-charitable organization with the vision of conserving and appreciating dolls. Other doll collectors, such as Rare Dolls, provide an online platform to sell your doll.
Online Platforms and Auction Sites:
These include eBay, Etsy, RubyLane, Facebook groups, Christie’s, LiveAuctioneers, etc. Online search platforms provide a vast market with potential buyers swarming around antique pieces and can lead you straight to your buyer.
If your doll is in the worst condition, or you realize that it may not be worth a lot, you can sell it to your local fleas market.
Note: Make sure that you don’t rush into a sale and get rid of your collectibles quickly, especially if you’re in possession of a rare model. You’ll probably be bombarded with many offers at different prices, making an evaluation necessary.
The right antiques can make their owners very rich, and Madame Alexander dolls are no exception to this rule. If you’re thinking of making additions to your collection or trying to grab an extra buck from your attic, these dolls can help you.
Suppose you have a Madame Alexander doll that looks old, is in good condition and is a limited-edition lot. In that case, it might bring in a couple of thousand dollars.
Whether you’re an avid collector in search of your next target or have a few vintage dolls from your childhood, this guide will help you be aware of the current market values and adjustments so that you make your next purchase intelligently.