Zendelle

Mar 112014
 
Share

The first face of Elise, 1957-63.

Alexander’s Elise is the sometimes overlooked “middle sister” of their family of glamour dolls. Her sweet charm makes her a favorite of many collectors, however, and while she is most often found as a bride or ballerina, her day dresses and evening gowns are worth the search. Many of her outfits match Cissy and Cissette outfits. In 1958, Elise was sold as “Sweet 16″ in the FAO Schwarz catalog.

The second face of Elise, 1962-64.

Body Construction
The first version of her, manufactured from 1957 to 1963, is 16.5″ tall and hard plastic with vinyl arms. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles. She has sleep eyes with brush lashes and a glued-on wig. In 1962, Elise grew to 17″ tall with a vinyl head, although the hard plastic version continued to be produced. In 1962 and ’63, some versions of Elise were made with the pouty Marybel head mold, also in vinyl (see photo below). Elise’s jointed ankles enable her to wear flats, high heels or ballet slippers.

The hard plastic Elise head and body molds were also used for other dolls, including redhead Maggie Mixup in 1961, and Queen Elizabeth II, Scarlett O’Hara and Renoir Portrait in 1963.

Elise disappeared from the catalog in 1965 and returned in 1966 in a redesigned version without the joints at her knees, elbows and ankles. Elise dolls have continued to be produced occasionally throughout the years since.

The third face of Elise, 1962-63.

Markings
Elise is marked “Alexander” on the back of her head, below the hairline, and “Mme. Alexander” on her back.

Clothing
Visit the Elise’s Outfits, 1957-59 and 1960-64 pages for descriptions of her clothing.

Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls



Copyright 1999-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Mar 102014
 
Share

If you look at the comments on this site and on my Facebook page, you will see that the number one question I get asked is “How much is my doll worth?”
For several years I have been doing my best to research the values of dolls that people ask about (no, I don’t know them off the top of my head!) but I no longer have the time to do it. So, in this post I give the step by step instructions, so you can do your own appraisals.

The only way to know the monetary value of a doll, or any object for that matter, is to find out what similar ones have sold for recently. And the best place to find out what a vintage item has sold for recently is on eBay.

Step 1: You need to identify your doll before you can look it up. If you already know who your doll is, proceed to Step 2. If you don’t know who she is, check the back of the head, or her back, to see if there is a manufacturer’s mark. In this site’s Main Index, you will find the most common doll manufacturers listed. If your doll is unmarked, or just marked with numbers, post a photo on my Facebook page and I will try to help you identify her.

Step 2: Once you know who she is, or some more information about her, you can proceed to find her value. Start in the Dolls section of eBay, where most vintage dolls will be listed. There are a few dolls which might be listed in a different section, for example an advertising doll such as Swiss Miss or Tony the Tiger might be located in the Collectibles: Advertising section instead. If you’re not sure, you can always start on the
eBay home page.

Step 3: If you’re starting on the Dolls page, you’ll see a menu on the left side of the screen, with categories such as Antique, Art Dolls, Baby Dolls, Barbie, etc. If you know the manufacturer of your doll, such as Ideal, Effanbee, or Madame Alexander, click where it says “By Brand, Company or Character” and on the next page there will be a menu to select from. If the manufacturer can’t be determined, but you know what material the doll is made from, select “By Material” instead, and on the next page you can choose from Composition, Vinyl, Hard Plastic, etc. If you select “By Type” you will find categories such as Kewpies, Trolls, Nesting Dolls and Celebrity Dolls.

If you know your doll’s manufacturer, click on “By Brand, Company or Character” to go to the next menu.

Step 4: Once you are in the right category, use the search box at the top of the page to enter your doll’s name, or the name of the manufacturer if there isn’t a separate category for them. If you don’t know her name or who made her, you can enter some descriptive terms, but try to keep it as general as possible to start with. If you enter “14 inch vinyl girl doll blonde hair blue eyes pink dress white shoes” you won’t get any results because that’s too specific. You can always narrow it down later if you get too many results.

In this example, I am searching for Whimsies dolls in the American Character category.

Then click on the Search button.


Step 5: Once you click on the “Search” button, the page of results you get will be of dolls that are currently for sale. Ignore these! The asking price for a doll has nothing whatsoever to do with its actual value. A doll is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. And the way to find out what someone is willing to pay is to look at ones that have actually sold. On the left hand side of the screen (you might have to scroll down a little) under “Show Only,” click on “Sold listings” to get those results.

These are the current listings. The prices of the dolls are listed in bold black type.

On the left side of the page, click where it says “Sold Listings” to find dolls that have sold recently.

Step 6: If you get some results on the Sold Listings page, the next step is to compare those dolls with your doll. To get an accurate value, look for dolls that are in similar condition to yours. When you click on a Sold listing, you’ll get a page trying to show you things that are currently available for sale. Look for the link near the top of the page where it says “See original listing” in tiny print. There can be a huge difference in value between a doll in mint condition, and one that has been played with. Read the descriptions and look at the pictures. Whether a doll has its original clothing or not can also affect the value. If you got no results under “Sold Listings” go to the next step.

The prices of Sold Listings are always shown in green.

Step 7: If you got no results under “Sold Listings,” go back and select “Completed Listings” instead. This will show you items that have sold as well as items that did not sell. While there can be many reasons an item didn’t sell (seller has too many negative feedbacks, listing doesn’t give enough information, etc) the most common reason a doll doesn’t sell is because the price is too high. So that will tell you something as well. For example, if you find a Completed (but not Sold) Listing, for a doll offered at $50, in similar condition to your doll, you can be pretty certain yours is worth less than $50.

On the Completed Listings page, the dolls with prices in green are the ones that sold; ones with prices in red did not sell.

Additional tips: Many dolls were made in multiple sizes, and the size can greatly affect the value. For example, a 26″ composition Shirley Temple doll is worth a lot more than an 18″ one, because the 18″ size is much more common. Life size baby dolls tend to be worth more than smaller ones. Original clothing can sometimes be worth more than the doll itself. If you can’t find any sold examples of your exact doll, try to find something similar, made in the same time period. If you have a lot of dolls to research, it might be worth investing in a subscription to Worthopedia, a site that compiles sold listings of all types of antiques and collectibles from the past several years, from eBay as well as live auctions and other sites. If you have a doll that is less common, you are more likely to find sold examples there.

I hope this helps you to figure out a value for your doll. Leave a comment if you have a question about the process.

Copyright 2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Feb 242014
 
Share

Note: the number at the end of the description refers to the source where a photo of the outfit may be found. See legend at bottom of page.

The following Portrait dolls used the Cissy head and body, but instead of being called Cissy, were sold under the names listed.

#2071 – 1955 – Scarlett
Soft white cotton gown with square neckline, lace and red ribbon trim. B&W in #3

#? – 1961 – Godey
Pale lavender satin or pink taffeta gown with two rows of matching narrow braid trim near hemline, flowers at waist; darker lavender jacket with trim to match gown, elaborate trim & fringe at cuffs; lavender straw hat with flowers, tied with blue or lavender tulle; full slip; lavender heels; iridescent earrings; solitaire ring. Color in #2, #6 and #7

#2230 – 1961 – Queen Elizabeth
Gold brocade gown; sash of the garter and jewels; long white fingerless gloves; tiara; jeweled earrings, solitaire ring and bracelets. Color in #8. Also with three piece brocade, short coat costume, pill box hat of tulle.

#2235 – 1961 – Melanie

Deep blue satin sleeveless gown with v-neck; white lace long jacket; cameo necklace. Color in #2 and #8

#2240 – 1961 – Scarlett O’Hara
Blue taffeta gown with black braid trim; matching coat & bonnet; crinoline petticoat; lace mitts; velvet reticule; cameo necklace; rhinestone earrings; tiny watch pin. Color in #2 and #8

#2245 – 1961 – Lissy
Mauve pink organdy sleeveless gown with overskirt of matching accordian-pleated tulle in three tiers, trimmed with gold sequins, flowers at waist; taffeta full hoop slip with six-inch tulle ruffle at hem; pink taffeta panties; stockings; silver sandals. Color in #2 and #8

#? – 1961 – Melanie?
Red moire taffeta long-sleeved gown with black braid trim; black feather boa; black straw hat with flowers; solitaire ring. Color in #7 and #8

Renoir Cissy by Madame Alexander #2250 – 1961 – Renoir
Yellow satin gown with full skirt; matching jacket with black sequin trim; black sequin handbag; large floral headpiece with black veil; full net petticoat; white taffeta panties; black sandals; cameo earrings & necklace; diamond ring.
Godey Cissy by Madame Alexander Godey Cissy by Madame Alexander

#2260 – 1962 – Godey
Gown with white organdy bodice trimmed with lace and rhinestones, bright orange skirt with pleated ruffles; orange velvet short jacket with elbow-length sleeves trimmed with white lace; natural straw hat with flowers, pink veil pulled to the back and tied with a bow and streamers; jeweled earrings, ring; amethyst & rhinestone wrist pendant on
long chain.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller lamoretti.

#2180 – 1962 – Queen Elizabeth II
Gold brocade gown; red & blue sash of the order of Bath; single loop tiara with one double loop in center front, three large stones; long crinoline slip; taffeta panties; gold slippers; long white fingerless gloves; two rhinestone bracelets; earrings; solitaire ring. Color in #2

#? – 1961-62 – Scarlett
White organdy gown with v-neck and elbow length sleeves trimmed in lace, three tiered skirt, dark green satin ribbon trimming neckline and skirt tiers, cameo brooch; large white hat with flowers; pearl drop earrings; ring.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Sources for this page include:

  1. “Madame Alexander Catalog Reprints 1942-1962, Vol. 1″ published by Barbara Jo McKeon
  2. “Madame Alexander’s Ladies of Fashion” by Marjorie Victoria Sturges Uhl
  3. “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls” by Patricia R. Smith
  4. “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls: Second Series” by Patricia R. Smith
  5. “American Dolls From the Post-War Era 1945-1965″ by Florence Theriault
  6. “The Golden Age of American Dolls 1945-1965″ by Cynthia Gaskill

  7. “Cissy: Identification and Price Guide” by A. Glenn Mandeville & Benita Cohen Schwartz
  8. “Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965″ by Linda Crowsey

Copyright 1997-2008 by Zendelle Bouchard



Feb 032014
 
Share

See also: Main Cissy pageRoyalty & Wedding outfitsFull-length Evening GownsShort Gowns & Ankle-length DressesOne piece DressesDresses with Jackets, Capes or CoatsSeparatesSleepwear & Underwear

Note: the number at the end of the description refers to the source where a photo of the outfit may be found. See legend at bottom of page.

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger photo.

Outerwear

These were all boxed fashions.

#21-31 – Red coat with black and white polka dot bow; skirt of the same fabric as the bow; natural straw hat. 1957.

#? – Year? – Red velvet coat, red daisy closure at neckline; natural straw hat with matching daisies. Color in #7.

#? – Year? – Full length white satin opera coat, large red velvet bow at neckline. Color in #7

#? – 1955 – Rose velvet coat with peter pan collar, three matching buttons. Color in #7

#? – 1956 – Garnet or green velvet coat, no collar, long sleeves with cuffs; matching hat appears to be straw with flowers. B&W in #7

#? – 1957 – Pink spring coat, taffeta lined, peter pan collar, flowers at neckline. Hat was sold separately. B&W in #7

#? – 1957 – Buff colored faux fur swing coat, matching hat and muff. Color in #7

#? – 1958 – Navy flannel coat with large collar, red bow at neckline, long sleeves have cuffs; navy straw hat with flowers and veil. Color in #7.

#? – 1959 – Wool coat & matching hat in choice of brown, coral or royal blue. Other colors may have been available.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

Accessories

Cissy’s accessories were sold in many different sets. Here are some of the combinations that were available.

Blue plastic comb, brush and mirror; six metal hair curlers; blonde braid and hair piece; four hairpins with pink and yellow satin bows; hairnet; hair lotion and hair cream; 2 plastic compacts and lipstick.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

#22-90 – year? – Pink mirror & comb; rhinestone bracelet; black & white cameo on black velvet ribbon; watch on gold chain; white hankie with lace edging; tortoiseshell-type sunglasses with flowers at corners; pearl earrings; floral bouquet in clear plastic box with carrying strap. Color in #2

#? – Year? – Faux fur stole with pink roses; sunglasses; jeweled watch pin; rhinestone bracelet, ring and earrings; pearl necklace and earrings; bouquet of flowers in clear plastic purse; white hankie with lace trim; elastic-strap sandals; nylon hose. Variations in color of stole, sunglasses and shoes exist. Color in #7

#? – 1955 – High heeled elastic strap sandals and nylon stockings.

#? – 1956 – Mink stole; evening bag; glasses; ring; bracelet.

#? – 1957 – Faux fur stole with flowers; glasses; cameo on ribbon; purse (?). B&W in #1

#? – 1957 – Faux fur stole with flowers; gold slippers; nylon stockings; sunglasses; handbag; hankie.

Sources for this page include:

  1. “Madame Alexander Catalog Reprints 1942-1962, Vol. 1″ published by Barbara Jo McKeon
  2. “Madame Alexander’s Ladies of Fashion” by Marjorie Victoria Sturges Uhl
  3. “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls” by Patricia R. Smith
  4. “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls: Second Series” by Patricia R. Smith
  5. “American Dolls From the Post-War Era 1945-1965″ by Florence Theriault
  6. “The Golden Age of American Dolls 1945-1965″ by Cynthia Gaskill

  7. “Cissy: Identification and Price Guide” by A. Glenn Mandeville & Benita Cohen Schwartz
  8. “Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965″ by Linda Crowsey

Copyright 1997-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Jan 172014
 
Share

See also: Royalty & Wedding outfitsFull-length Evening GownsShort Gowns & Ankle-length DressesOne piece DressesDresses with Jackets, Capes or CoatsSeparatesOuterwear & Accessory Packs

Underwear on Basic Dolls

Cissy was sold as a basic doll in chemise, other styles of underwear were sold separately as boxed fashions.

Vintage Cissy doll by Madame Alexander #2100 – 1955-57 – The earliest chemises for the basic Cissy doll were black or white lace with satin ribbon straps and ribbon rosettes. She also wore nylon stockings and elastic-strap mules accented with a rose surrounded by the ruffle of lace. (Note that this stock number was used earlier for a doll dressed in evening gown.) There were variations of the lace used. In 1957, the chemises had longer legs created by additional lace trim.
Far left photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls. Near left photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

In 1958, the chemise for the basic Cissy was changed to a pink satin fabric with a lace panel or lace trim down the front. There were several variations of this style, some with white lace and some with black.
In 1959, the chemises were once again made of lace, but instead of the ribbon rosettes of the early years, they were decorated with hot pink rosettes made of felt.

A wonderful article by Sidney Bennett and Debbie Foster shows photos of all these styles and more. You can view it here.

Underwear Sold Separately

_undie1 (4K) _undie2 (4K) Cissy had many other underthings that were sold separately. This off white strapless corselet (or “Merry Widow”) with crocheted lace insets down front and sides and across bust, pale pink lining was sold separately.
_boxunder (5K) #? – 1959 – Cissy had many underthings that were sold separately, including this unusual flocked print petticoat & taffeta panties.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
To see more of Cissy’s boxed underwear, visit the article referenced above.

Sleepwear

These were all boxed fashions.

The first nightgowns for Cissy, for 1955 and into 1956, had a very low v-neck (almost to her waist) in both front and back, trimmed in lace with ribbon inserted through the lace, with matching negligees that had short puffed sleeves. Most were solid pale pink nylon, but there was some variation of fabrics and some were prints.

In 1956 and ’57, a cotton batiste nightgown with a square neckline trimmed in lace and ribbon was introduced. It came in white or various colors and prints. The matching cotton negligee was still the earlier v-neck style.

For 1957, Cissy had a pink nightie with a more modest v-neck in the front. The floral print robe had a deeper v in front, like the earlier style, but was up to her neck in the back. There was also a cotton polka dot long-sleeved robe this year that did not have a matching nightgown.
In 1958, the nightgown was nylon tricot with three rows of lace trimming a scoop neck. The matching negligee had a high neck with only two rows of lace. It was available in pink or blue, or floral print on a white background.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls.

Cissy’s 1959 sleepwear was very different from previous years. The nightie had a white lace bodice with a solid pink skirt. The matching lace robe had elbow-length sleeves.

To see pictures of all these styles and more, see the article “Vintage Cissy’s Negligees and Nighties” by Debbie Foster here.

Copyright 1997-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard