Madame Alexander Dolls

Posted by Jenna Miller on May 21st, 2021

Joseph from the 1954 Biblical series. Photo by Theriault’s Antique Doll Auctions. 

Dolls remain a popular collectible category, with top-notch antique, antique, and contemporary examples topping the wish lists of enthusiasts around the world. Amongst the category of dolls, Madame Alexander Dolls are at the top of the list. Every July, the United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC), a 5013C organization at the forefront of doll research, education, conservation, and appreciation, holds its annual convention. This gathering attracts attendees from all continents and is considered the most important annual event in the world of doll collecting. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this celebration will be held online July 22-24 to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Perhaps the best-known American brand of dolls are those designed and manufactured by Madame Alexander. Madame Dolls are always well represented at UFDC annual events. To learn more about these toys and collectibles, and what makes them so interesting from a collector's, historical, and design perspective, Auction Daily spoke with Diane McCarthy, former president of the Madame Alexander Doll Club.

Madame Alexander was born Bertha Alexander on March 9, 1895. When she grew up, she changed him to Beatrice, who seemed more elegant to her. Her parents emigrated from Russia and her father owned a doll hospital on New York's Lower East Side. Beatrice and her father shared a passion for making and repairing dolls.

During World War I, there was an embargo on German products, including dolls, which affected the family business. Beatrice and her sisters teamed up to create dolls that they could sell, that would not break, and use available materials. The first models included a nurse and a doll. She would make a sample doll and her sisters would copy it. While they worked, Beatrice encouraged them and checked her work. This personal approach to high standards was a style she maintained throughout her career. As there were ups and downs in this journey, Madame Alexander dolls value was also affected, but now these dolls are at the top of all the dolls. Fans of these dolls are always attracted to these dolls and their variety.

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Jenna Miller

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Jenna Miller
Joined: April 29th, 2021
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