Vintage Bisque and China Dolls

 Bisque & China, Reposted  Comments Off on Vintage Bisque and China Dolls
Nov 182014

Bisque and china dolls are both made of porcelain. Bisque is unglazed, while china has a shiny glazed finish. While the vast majority of bisque dolls that interest collectors would be classified as antique rather than vintage, there are quite a few bisque and china dolls that fit well into a vintage collection.

Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

At the start of the 20th century, the majority of bisque and china dolls were made in Germany. Most of these were similar to the dolls that had been produced there for decades. But early in the 20th century, bisque dolls began to appear that had a decidedly modern look. These were the Kewpies, and they were designed by American illustrator Rose O’Neill. George Borgfeldt & Co., an American distributor, hired sculptor Joseph Kallus to turn the Kewpies into three dimensional dolls, and outsourced their manufacture to Germany. The Kewpies and their wide-eyed “googly” look were all the rage, and they were copied by many other companies. The Kewpies have been made in every material possible, and are still popular today.

German firms continued to produce bisque dolls until World War II, when the factories were converted for use in the war effort. Some of these were German designs and others were produced, like the Kewpies, for American companies. The two dolls pictured are painted bisque – the color is not fired on and probably date from the 1920s. The doll above left is a doll house size. The one on the right is a “Betty Boop” type, more commonly made in Japan.

Many vintage bisque dolls were made in Japan during the ‘teens, twenties and thirties. If they are marked “Nippon”, like the boy in blue above, they were probably made between 1914 and 1921. Later dolls are marked “Japan.” Dolls marked “Occupied Japan,” like the baby in the center photo above, were made between 1945 and 1952.

Many Japanese all bisque dolls are jointed only at the shoulders, like the “Betty Boop” dolls pictured above. These have nothing to do with the cartoon character Betty Boop – it’s just a name that collectors use.

The Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls are American-made all bisque dolls. These were extremely popular and sold from 1936 into the 1950s, when the company switched to hard plastic. The doll pictured above is September’s Girl is Like a Storm, from the months of the year series. The Nancy Ann page and the NASB Dolls Series page have many more photos of these dolls.

China, or glazed porcelain dolls were also made in the USA. This two dolls pictured above are the Flower Girls set of Godey’s Little Lady dolls made by Ruth Gibbs of Flemington, NJ in the late forties.

There are many antique reproduction china head dolls that were made in the mid 20th century. Some were sold as kits, others were made by crafters in ceramics classes, and some were made by professional doll artists. This ad was scanned from the Spring/Summer 1958 issue of McCall’s Needlework and Crafts magazine.

Bisque was the medium of choice of many of the early doll artists. Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Meg from the Little Women series by Martha Thompson; Abigail Adams by Diana Lence Crosby; Nellie Bly by Lita Wilson and Muriel Kramer; and Miss Kentucky by Fawn Zeller. See more on the Artist Dolls page.

Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Most of the bisque or porcelain dolls produced in the second half of the 20th century were intended for adult collectors rather than children. This trend continues today. Pictured above is Marcella by Wendy Lawton.

Learn More:

Collecting Rose
O’Neill’s Kewpies
by David O’Neill &
Janet O’Neill Sullivan
Find it on eBay.
The American Doll Artist
Volume I
by Helen Bullard
Find it on eBay.
With Kewpish Love
by Florence Theriault
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 2006-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

21″ Jacqueline Doll by Madame Alexander (1961-62)

 Alexander, Reposted  Comments Off on 21″ Jacqueline Doll by Madame Alexander (1961-62)
Nov 052014

See also: 10″ Jacqueline Doll by Madame Alexander

Madame Alexander’s 21″ Jacqueline doll was introduced in 1961. Although the Kennedy name was never used in connection with the doll, there can be little doubt that she was meant to represent the popular First Lady. Mrs. Kennedy’s wardrobe, designed by Oleg Cassini, set new standards of fashion for women around the world, and the doll version was equally glamorous. In 1962, a 10″ version was introduced using the Cissette head and body. Alexander also introduced a toddler doll named Caroline, after the Kennedy’s young daughter.

Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

The 21″ Jacqueline was made in 1961-62, using the later Cissy body with the one-piece graceful arms and a vinyl head made from a new mold. She has side-parted brunette hair in a shoulder-length flip, with a single spit curl on the forehead, brown sleep eyes with pale blue eyeshadow and exaggerated painted lashes on each side. Extra outfits were available for her.

At least two trunk sets were sold in 1962 with Jacqueline dolls, one in the FAO Schwarz catalog under the name Judy, and another in the Marshall Field catalog under the name Jackie.

Later that year, Madame Alexander discontinued the Jacqueline line at the request of the White House. Beginning in 1965, Alexander began using the 21″ doll again for their series of Portrait dolls. They reintroduced Jacqueline for collectors in the 1990s.


#2133 – Orange jersey blouse; beige vinyl jacket; green corduroy slacks and matching hat; soiltaire ring; green elastic-strap heels. Sold separately.

#2218 – Suit of brocade has short jacket with three-quarter sleeves, matching straight skirt; jeweled tricot blouse; tulle pillbox hat; purse.

21″ Jacqueline doll by Madame Alexander wears #2210, satin ball gown and matching evening coat.

#2210 – Ivory satin strapless princess-cut ball gown, trimmed with silver braid; matching coat; purse made out of pearls; pearl necklace and pearl-encrusted earrings; solitaire ring; full-length taffeta petticoat; taffeta panties; nylons and silver elastic-strap sandals. Click here to see the dress.


Jacqueline’s Riding Habit from 1962. Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

#2117 – Riding costume of tan jacket with three brass buttons and shawl collar; white blouse; brown breeches; boots. Caroline had a matching outfit.

#2125. Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

#2125 – Slim brocade one-shoulder gown with flaring side panels of red satin; pearl necklace; earrings, ring and bracelet.

#2130 – Silver and white brocade full-skirted gown; matching jacket with elbow-length sleeves fastens with a jeweled clasp at the waistline; pearl necklace; earrings, ring and bracelet; taffeta panties and full-length petticoat.

#2140 – Full-skirted brocade ball gown; full-length satin evening coat; pearl purse; jewelry.

#22-15 – Suit with elbow-length sleeves, straight skirt, pillbox hat. Sold separately.


Embassy Tea (Never officially released)- Pink sleeveless satin gown has a lace overbodice sprinkled with flocked flowers and rhinestones. The neckline and arm holes are outlined in pearls.

Embassy Tea was 21″ Jacqueline’s last ensemble. Photo courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.

Copyright 1999-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Learn More:

Collector’s Encyclopedia of
Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965
by Linda Crowsey
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander’s
Ladies of Fashion
by Marjorie Sturges Uhl
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander Dolls:
An American Legend
by Stephanie Finnegan
Find it on eBay.

Shari Lewis Doll by Madame Alexander (1959-60?)

 Alexander, Reposted  Comments Off on Shari Lewis Doll by Madame Alexander (1959-60?)
Sep 092014

Shari Lewis was a popular children’s television star in the late fifties, and her popularity, along with that of her puppet, Lambchop, continues today, despite her untimely death in 1998. This is an unusual doll for Alexander in that it was made with an entirely new head mold, which was never re-used. She has the one-piece graceful arms used on the later Cissys. The doll came in six different outfits, all available in 14″ or 21″ sizes. Her wrist tag features a photo of Shari and Lambchop.

21″ Shari Lewis doll by Madame Alexander.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

#2430 (21″) / #1430 (14″) – Short, fully lined evening gown of gold lace trimmed with floral braid, with very full skirt; pendant corsage of pink roses hangs from pink crushed taffeta belt; golden bead necklace & matching bracelet; solitaire ring; pearl earrings; gold elastic-strap sandals. Click here to see the back of her dress. Click here to see a photo of the 14″ version.

14″ Shari Lewis by Madame Alexander in her original teal moire dress.

#2431/#1431 – Polished cotton moire shirtwaist dress in rose pink or teal green with rhinestone “buttons”, three-quarter sleeves have cuffs; gold chain belt with gold ball accents OR silver contour belt; natural straw hat trimmed with black ribbon and flowers; drop pearl earrings; elastic-strap sandals.

#2432/#1432 – Same style dress as #2431 in bright blue cotton; silver contour belt; solitaire ring; pearl earrings; natural straw hat trimmed with pink flowers; silver elastic-strap sandals.

Number unknown – Same style dress as above in pale yellow heavy slipper satin with emerald green rhinestone accents; green hat with yellow flowers; green elastic strap sandals; drop pearl earrings.

21″ Shari Lewis doll. Her green satin skirt has faded to brown.

#2433/#1433 – Green skirt of heavy slipper satin; yellow rayon jersey sweater; yellow crinoline slip with nylon net ruffle; gold contour belt; green straw hat with bright pink flower trim; double-strand necklace of green beads; pearl earrings; solitaire ring; rhinestone watch pinned to skirt waist; green elastic-strap sandals.

#2440/#1440 – Pale pink rayon jersey sweater; silver contour belt with pink rose accent; skirt of pale gray heavy slipper satin; matching fully lined coat with ruffle at neckline, fastened with a single rose; evening bag; pearl jewelry; elastic-strap sandals. Very rare.

Learn More:

Madame Alexander’s
Ladies of Fashion
by Marjorie Sturges Uhl
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander Dolls:
An American Legend
by Stephanie Finnegan
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander 2010 Price Guide
by Linda Crowsey
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 1997-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Elise’s Gift Sets

 Alexander, Reposted  Comments Off on Elise’s Gift Sets
Sep 032014

This ball gown was included in Elise’s 1960 gift set from FAO Schwarz. Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls.

1960 FAO Schwarz Giftset
This giftset came with a blonde Elise doll and red metal trunk. The following tagged outfits were all included:

  • Cornflower blue ball gown (#1730) of pleated nylon tulle with gathered attached stole, rosebud accents; coronet of flowers; rhinestone earrings; necklace.
  • Pale pink gown of dotted tulle with puffed sleeved and ribbon sash. This appears to be very similar to the bridesmaid’s gown of 1957, but the neckline is rounded instead of square and it also includes a white straw hat with ties of the dotted tulle.
  • Pale pink taffeta full-length evening coat.
  • Red blouse with three-quarter sleeves; white slacks with red piping. The slacks are the same as the ones included with the “Yacht Club” outfit of 1958.
  • Pale pink nightie with lace trim at armholes, neckline and hem; blue satin bow at waist.
  • Long-sleeve white robe with blue flowered print, lace trim, blue ribbon at neck.
  • Undies, shoes and accessories

Note: B&W photos of the catalog illustrations for the following giftsets can be found in “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls, second series” by Patricia R. Smith

“Elise on Tour” was an FAO Schwarz exclusive in 1958. Included blue formal with under-skirt and hooped petticoat, silver heels, stockings, jewelry and bag; pink ballerina outfit with nylon tulle tutu skirt and satin bodice, trimmed with pink flowers; dotton nylon dress with petticoat, panties and low-heeled shoes; pink crepe nightie. The catalog illustration also shows a pants outfit. Came with Elise doll in an 18″ trunk.

“Lady Elise Trousseau” was offered by FAO Schwarz in 1961. It included a blue net gown trimmed with rosebuds over a double nylon taffeta crinoline; taffeta evening cloak; pink polished cotton street-length dress; taffeta slip and panties; double-skirted nylon nightgown with flowered taffeta robe; handbag; shoes; stockings; mirror, comb and brush. Came with Elise doll in an 18″ trunk.

“Elise on Vacation” was an FAO Schwarz exclusive for 1964. It included a blue lace-trimmed organdy gown; blue taffeta cocktail dress; red gabardine suit; riding habit with boots and hat; pink tulle ballerina costume with slippers; extra undies; lace-trimmed tricot nightie; evening bag; masquerade mask; shoes; stockings; vanity set. This set came with an Elise doll in a 20″ trunk.

Copyright 1999-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Elise’s Day Dresses and Separates

 Alexander, Reposted  Comments Off on Elise’s Day Dresses and Separates
Sep 022014

While Madame Alexander’s vintage Elise doll is most commonly found as a bride or ballerina, she has many dresses, skirts and pants outfits too, with wonderful details. There are matching Cissy and Cissette outfits for several of these ensembles.
Please note: Alexander used the same stock numbers repeatedly. 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.

Day Dresses

Year? – #? – Red polished cotton dress with fitted bodice, full gathered skirt, short sleeves, white collar and cuffs, three white buttons on bodice; white hat with red ribbon trim and streamers.

Year? – #? – Light blue taffeta dress with diamond-shaped rhinestone brooch; matching long-sleeved bolero jacket; blue organdy hat with pink flower and net veil; clover-shaped earrings; flocked(?) petticoat; white taffeta panties. May be the same as #1643 from 1957.

#1610 – 1957 – Pink and white taffeta gingham dress has a fitted bodice, full gathered skirt, white nylon organdy puffed sleeves with lace trim, peter pan collar; white straw hat with pink field flowers; white lace slip with scalloped hemline; white taffeta panties; stockings; pink high-heeled sandals. Color in #2

#1632 – 1957 – Dark brown jumper has a flared skirt with inverted pleat at front; soft pink crepe blouse with bow at neckline, three quarter sleeves; brown straw hat; charm bracelet; elastic strap sandals. Color in #2

#1636 – 1957 – Purple taffeta dress; two-tone purple bow tie; white coat; white furry hat; purple elastic-strap heels. B&W in #4

#1640 – 1957 – Pink taffeta dress; chocolate brown velvet coat with pink taffeta lining and bow at neck; brown hat trimmed with pink roses. B&W in #1

#1643 – 1957 – Blue sleeveless taffeta dress with pink flowers at waist; matching bolero jacket; pink flowers in hair; black elastic-strap heels. B&W in #4

#1710 – 1958 – Dark polished cotton dress with white polka dots, short puffed sleeves with white cuffs, full skirt; straw hat with dotted tulle veil. B&W in #1

#1718 – 1958 – Pink shadow printed nylon shirtwaist dress has horizontal rows of lace trim on bodice, three-quarter sleeves with cuffs trimmed with lace; straw hat trimmed with tulle and roses. Matches Cissy outfit #2230. Color in #12

#1732 – 1958 – Cotton shirtwaist dress with three-quarter sleeves with cuffs, came in variations of print and color; belt; purple straw hat with flowers has tulle streamers to tie under neck; purse with flowers; earrings and ring. Matching Cissy outfit was made. Color in #12 (butterfly print)

#17-18 – 1959 – Moire shirtwaist dress with pointed collar and cuffs. Sold extra. Matches Cissy outfit #22-18. B&W in #1

#1815 – 1959 – Sheer nylon dress of pale pink with flowers has puffed sleeves and full skirt; darker pink velvet ribbon at waistline; pink straw hat with flowers and veil; pearl necklace & earrings; ring; nylon taffeta slip; panties; stockings; gold elastic-strap sandals.

#? – 1960 – Blue on white/white on blue polka dotted cotton dres with sash at waist, open puffed sleeves; white straw hat with flowers; high-heeled elastic-strap sandals. B&W in #4

#18-8 – 1961 – Sleeveless polished cotton dress with fitted bodice, full skirt, wide lace trim at hem. Sold extra.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

#18-9 – 1961 – Sleeveless dress with wide ruffle at neckline, full skirt, sash that ties in back. Sold extra. B&W in #4

#18-10 – 1961 – Shirtwaist dress with pointed collar, elbow-length sleeves, pockets, cuffs and yoke of Swiss embroidery. Sold extra. B&W in #1

#? – 1962 – Teal blue and white checked shirtwaist dress with lace trim on bodice, white collar, white cuffs on three-quarter length sleeves; long-sleeved blue coat with collar, cuffs, covered buttons; matching hat with flowers and feathers trim; can-can slip; panties; nylon stockings; high heeled sandals; pearl earrings. Color in #2

#? – Year? – Yellow dotted swiss shirtwaist dress with lace trim on bodice, collar and cuffs; blue wool coat with yellow taffeta lining; blue straw hat with yellow veil.

#? – Year? – Red v-neck polished cotton jumper; white dotted swiss blouse with peter pan collar, puffed sleeves, 3 buttons on front for decoration.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls


Year? – #? Red skirt of unpressed pleats with gold elastic waistband; white sweater with red and blue horizontal stripes, three-quarter sleeves, red bow at neck. Color in #6

Year? – #? – Pink and white striped cotton blouse with elbow-length sleeves, lace ruffles down front; matching culottes; matching long pleated skirt. B&W in #4

Year? – #16-45 – Short sleeve light-colored blouse with darker trim on cuffs, buttons down front; matching shorts; matching button-front skirt. Sold extra. B&W in #4

#? – 1957 – Velveteen pants; white long-sleeved blouse with lace ruffles down front; wide sash ties around waist. B&W in #3

#? – 1958 – Aqua blue slacks with gold elastic waistband; Red midriff top; long white jacket with elbow-length sleeves, mandarin collar. Matching Cissy and Cissette outfits available.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls
#1720 – 1958 – Navy blue blazer with “yacht club” insignia, three brass buttons; white halter top; white slacks with navy or red piping; navy or red elastic-strap sandals. Cissy and Cissette had matching outfits.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

#16-40 – 1958 – Yellow and white striped swimsuit/playsuit; matching skirt ties around waist; yellow straw hat with green and red ribbon and fruit; low heeled shoes. Sold extra. Matches Cissette #805. B&W in #4

#? – 1959 – Striped skirt and sweater. Sold extra. B&W drawing in #4

#1816 – 1959 – Printed sateen skirt; white lace-trimmed nylon blouse with puffed sleeves; crushed taffeta belt; nylon petticoat; flower-trimmed straw hat; jeweled earrings and pendant; black elastic-strap heels.
Photos courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls

#18-20 – 1961 – Pleated skirt and vest of pique; checked cotton blouse with collar and cuffs. Sold extra. B&W in #1

#1705 – 1963 – Checked shirt; matching shorts; wraparound corduroy skirt lined with taffeta; nylon hose; elastic strap high-heeled shoes; earrings.

#1710 – 1963 – Riding outfit of brown and white checked long-sleeved jacket with brown buttons; white blouse; brown jodhpurs with tan patches on inner calves; brown and white boots; cap.
#? – Year? – Royal blue turtleneck sweater; brightly colored geometric print pants.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
#? – Year? – Light blue jacket has cuffed sleeves, no collar; matching pleated skirt.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls
Red pants with gold elastic waistband; sheer white blouse has lots of lace trim. Sold extra.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.
Red jacket with 3 buttons; white pants with gold elastic waistband, red piping down outer seams. Sold extra.
Photo 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 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. “Madame Alexander Collector’s Dolls Price Guide #23” by Linda Crowsey
  6. “Madame Alexander ‘Little People'” by Marge Biggs
  7. “The Golden Age of American Dolls 1945-65” by Cynthia Gaskill
  8. “Glamour Dolls of the 1950s and 1960s” by Polly and Pam Judd
  9. “American Dolls From The Post-War Era, 1945-1965” by Florence Theriault
  10. “Patricia Smith’s Doll Values, Antique to Modern, Fifth Series”
  11. “Madame Alexander Catalog Reprints 1963-1972, Vol. 2” published by Barbara Jo McKeon
  12. “Collector’s Encyclopedia of Madame Alexander Dolls, 1948-65” by Linda Crowsey

Copyright 1999-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard.