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Alexander's Composition Dolls


Madame Alexander made dolls in composition from the mid-1930s until they switched to hard plastic in 1948. As they later did in hard plastic and vinyl, the most popular face molds were used over and over again with only painted features, hairstyle and clothing to differentiate them. Some dolls, like Jane Withers and the Three Little Pigs, had unique molds. Many of the classic Alexander dolls have been reissued in vinyl in recent years.

Jump to individual dolls on this page:
Alice in Wonderland
Baby Genius
Baby McGuffey
Betty
Carmen
Dionne Quintuplets
Madelaine DuBain
Fairy Princess
Sonja Henie
Karen
Lady Windermere
McGuffey Ana
Margaret O'Brien
Princess Elizabeth
Princess Margaret Rose
Scarlett
Scarlett Portrait
Three Little Pigs
Tiny Betty
Wendy Ann
Wendy Ann - molded hair
Wendy Ann - painted eyes
Jane Withers

Click on a small photo to view a larger version. This is just a small sampling of Alexander's compo dolls.

Princess Elizabeth face:

Princess Elizabeth doll by Alexander Princess Elizabeth doll by Alexander Elizabeth II has been made in doll form by several different companies, beginning in 1937 when she was a Princess and continuing through her coronation in 1953 until today. Pictured at left are two 1938 composition Princess Elizabeth toddler dolls by Alexander. The same face mold was used for other dolls as well. Find Princess Elizabeth dolls on eBay.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_24mcguff1 (2K) _mcguff1 (2K) _mcguff2 (4K)

McGuffey Ana has been a popular character for Alexander for decades. This version, using the Princess Elizabeth face mold, was made from 1937-44. She was sold in a variety of outfits but always had her hair in braids. Find McGuffey Ana dolls on eBay.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

_17babymcguff (2K)

Baby McGuffey. Most dolls with the McGuffey name are toddlers or little girls, but this rare doll has bent baby legs. She is 17" tall and was made in 1937 only. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

Wendy Ann face:

_molded (2K) _molded2 (4K) Most Wendy Ann dolls have wigs, but this early version has molded hair.
Find Wendy Ann dolls on eBay.
Photo courtesy of Nancy McKee. Visit Nancy's shop.
_12alice1 (3K) Alice in Wonderland was one of the many story book characters that Alexander has made. This version is 12" tall.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_12wend1 (2K) _12wend3 (4K) _14wann1 (3K) _15wendyann (3K) Here are three dolls that were sold under the Wendy Ann name. The name was taken from Madame Alexander's granddaughter.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_14fairyprin (3K) _15fairyp (3K) Here are two different versions of the Fairy Princess.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_14madeleine (3K) _dubain3 (4K) Madelaine DuBain was sold in several sizes and various outfits from 1937-41. Later, she was made in hard plastic using the Maggie face.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_18scarlett (3K) Scarlett has been a perennially popular character in the Alexander lineup. This version is 18" tall.
Find composition Scarlett dolls on eBay.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_carmen1 (3K) Carmen capitalized on the popularity of singer/actress Carmen Miranda.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_scarlett1 (4K) _scarlett3 (4K) _ladywind1 (4K)

Portraits were made before and after World War II and had striking facial paint. Left to right are Scarlett and Lady Windermere. They are 21" tall and were very expensive dolls at the time.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

Margaret face:

Margaret O'Brien doll by Madame Alexander Margaret O'Brien doll by Madame Alexander Margaret O'Brien doll by Madame Alexander Margaret O'Brien was a child movie star in the 1940s. Alexander made her in composition in 1946-7 (shown at left), and in a hard plastic version in 1948.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.
_mrose1 (2K) _mrose3 (4K)

Princess Margaret Rose was the younger sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth. In the late '30s, Alexander made her as a toddler doll with the Princess Elizabeth face; this more grown up version with the Margaret face dates from 1946.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

_karen1 (3K) _karen2 (4K)

Karen Ballerina was made in 15" and 18" sizes from 1946-49. She was made in hard plastic as well.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

Tiny Betty/Little Betty face:

_tiny1 (3K) _tiny2 (4K)

Tiny Betty (7") and her larger sister, 9" Little Betty, were sold under many different character names and in many different regional outfits from 1935-42.
Find Tiny Betty dolls on eBay.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

_peye1 (3K) _peye2 (6K) This doll made with the Little Betty face was the first use of the name Wendy Ann.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

Baby faces:

_12bgen1 (2K) _12bgen2 (3K)

Baby Genius was made in cloth, composition and hard plastic versions over many years. Compo dolls like the one pictured had cloth bodies and were made in the 1930s and '40s.
Find Little Genius dolls on eBay.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc. Visit their website.

Unique Celebrity faces:

Yvonne Dionne doll by Madame Alexander The Dionne Quintuplets were the first surviving set of identical quintuplets in history. Their birth in Canada in 1934 was a media sensation. Alexander acquired the rights to make dolls of them, which they did in several different baby and toddler versions from 1935-39. They were usually sold as sets of five dolls. Many other doll companies made unlicensed versions of the Dionnes.
Find Dionne Quintuplets dolls on eBay.
Photo courtesy of Nancy McKee. Visit Nancy's shop.
_15withers1 (2K) _15withers2 (4K)

Jane Withers was a child star in the 1930s. She was made by Alexander in several sizes from 1937-39. Some were all composition (like the 15" doll pictured) and some had a compo head and limbs on a cloth body.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hanson. View Lisa's eBay listings.

_15orange1 (2K) _15orange2 (3K)

Sonja Henie was a Norwegian ice skater who won the Olympic gold medal in 1928, 1932 and 1936. When she retired from competition, she had a second career in the movies. Alexander made Sonja Henie in composition from 1939-42 (shown at left) and in a totally different version with vinyl head and hard plastic body in 1951.
Find Sonja Henie dolls on eBay.
Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc. Visit their website.

Other Unique faces:

_pig1 (2K) _pig2 (2K) _pig3 (2K)

Three Little Pigs and Wolf dolls were sold in 1938-39. Each pig had a different outfit. They have been reissued in vinyl in recent years.

_12betty (3K)

This version of Betty, with molded hair, was made by another company and dressed and sold by Alexander. She dates from the early to mid 1930s. This doll is 12" tall. There is a different version of Betty which was manufactured by Alexander. That doll had sleep eyes, a mohair wig and a closed mouth, and was made in 13", 17" and 22" sizes.

Sources for this page include:

  • "Treasury of Mme. Alexander Dolls" by Jan Foulke
  • "Madame Alexander 2008 Collector Dolls Price Guide #33" by Linda Crowsey
  • "Madame Alexander Collector's Dolls" by Patricia Smith

Copyright 2009 by Zendelle Bouchard.

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