by Dr. Lori Verderame
Madame Alexander Dolls were named for the doll designer and founder of the company, Madame Beatrice (Bertha) Alexander Behrman (1895-1990). Her father repaired dolls in one of the first “doll hospitals” in the United States and Beatrice made doll clothes for her father’s business during World War I.
History and Characters Dolls
Enjoying widespread popularity in the 1920s to the 1950s, Madame Alexander dolls represent well known characters from children’s literature, historical figures, and contemporary celebrities such as Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Queen of Scots, etc. The Madame Alexander doll company is best known for creating the first line of collectible dolls based on a movie character, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
Another Madame Alexander innovation in the history of doll making was the marketing of mass produced dolls based on famous living persons like Sonja Henie, the Dionne Quintuplets, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Not to be confused with china dolls, Madame Alexander produced porcelain, plastic, and vinyl dolls over the years. In the late 1940s, Madame Alexander produced dolls made of hard plastic for durability. The famous Alexander-kins dolls which were 8 inch plastic dolls were introduced in 1953. Fashion dolls, baby dolls, and international dolls donning native costumes were produced later in the company’s history. Madame Alexander sold the company in 2012 to Dollie & Me.
What to Look For
Madame Alexander dolls capture the doll market with collectors paying high prices for these collectibles. Interested collectors pay anywhere from several hundreds of dollars for an individual doll to several thousands of dollars for some of the rare or specialty dolls. Collectors look for and pay high prices for sets of dolls in good condition from specialty series like the First Ladies of the United States, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, or the Dionne Quintuplets.
Madame Alexander dolls are highly recognizable by their feminine features, small mouths, and big attractive eyes. Look for good, clean dolls with original period clothing and matching accessories. Items such as original boxes and pamphlets will impact value.
Get an online appraisal of your Madame Alexander doll from Dr. Lori