14″ First Lady Dolls by Madame Alexander – First Series (1976-78)

 Alexander  Comments Off on 14″ First Lady Dolls by Madame Alexander – First Series (1976-78)
May 172016

Madame Alexander issued six series of 14″ First Lady dolls beginning in 1976 and ending in 1990. The first series, available from 1976 through 1978, included Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Martha Randolph, Dolley Madison, Elizabeth Monroe and Louisa Adams. The dolls are not portraits of the actual women, and Madame Alexander used creative license in selecting the hair and eye colors of the dolls. They are made of rigid vinyl, with rooted hair and sleep eyes with brush lashes. They are jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and wear beautifully made outfits. In addition to the outfit pieces described, each doll wears white stockings.

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the wife of George Washington, our nation’s first President. She was a young widow with two toddlers when she married Washington in 1759. Although the doll has light blonde hair, the real Martha was a brunette. She is remembered today as a warm and gracious hostess who treasured her privacy.

Martha Washington wears a silver and taupe brocade gown trimmed with champagne lace and ivory braid, with an attached lace stole and a lace mob cap. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with pink satin ribbon and white lace. She carries a brown velveteen bag adorned with an ivory lace motif. Pink satin shoes and a graduated “pearl” necklace complete her ensemble.

Abigail Smith Adams, wife of John Adams, got her feet wet by being the Vice President’s wife (now sometimes called Second Lady) before becoming First Lady when her husband was elected President. In 1825 she also became the mother of a President when her son John Quincy Adams was elected. Her admonition to her husband to “remember the ladies” as he worked with the Continental Congress to build a new nation is still quoted today.

Abigail Adams wears a long sleeved royal blue satin gown with a delicate leaf print, with white lace at the cuffs. Her white lace shawl is attached at the neckline and held in place with a rhinestone pin at her bodice. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed in white lace and pale blue satin ribbon. She wears a blue velvet ribbon in her hair and black velveteen shoes. A graduated “pearl” necklace provides a finishing touch.

Martha Jefferson Randolph was the daughter of the third American President, Thomas Jefferson. She acted as his occasional hostess due to the death of her mother several years before. She and her husband had twelve children – her son, James, was the first child born in the White House, in 1806. Known as Patsy to her family, Martha took devoted care of her father in his declining years.

Martha Randolph wears a short sleeved pale pink taffeta gown with an ivory lace panel down the front. Her pink taffeta petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with pink satin ribbon and white lace. She wears a pink organdy wrap around her head and a long black cape trimmed in fancy brocade ribbon. A graduated “pearl” necklace and pink satin shoes complete her outfit.

Dolley Payne Todd Madison was the wife of America’s fourth President, James Madison. She was the first First Lady to embrace a public role, and helped to found a home for young orphaned girls. When the British burned Washington during the War of 1812, she refused to evacuate the White House until Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington was removed from the wall and secured.

Dolley Madison wears a sleeveless champagne satin dressed flocked with silver glitter in a floral pattern, and decorated with champagne and silver metallic braid. She wears a matching long coat and an ivory organdy head wrap. Her white cotton petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with white lace and pink satin ribbon. Champagne satin shoes provide the finishing touch.

Elizabeth Kortright Monroe was only seventeen years old when she married the future fifth President of the United States, James Monroe. Due to her frail health, her oldest daughter often assumed the duties of hostess at the White House.

Elizabeth Monroe wears a long sleeved gold and pink satin brocade gown, trimmed in satin ribbon and lace. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with white satin ribbon and lace. A lace shawl attached to a long brocade panel at her back is held in place with a goldtone bow pin at her waist. She wears a rhinestone tiara and a rhinestone pendant necklace on a goldtone chain. Champagne colored satin shoes complete her ensemble.

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, was born in England, to a British mother and American father. She wrote music and poetry, and played the harp. She followed her husband in his diplomatic travels around the world, once crossing Europe by coach in the winter to join him.

Louisa Adams wears a short sleeved white satin gown decorated with white and silver metallic braid, and ruched bands of tulle. Her white taffeta and net petticoat and pantalettes are decorated with gathered white lace. She wears graduated “pearl” necklace and a cluster of rosebuds in her hair.

Copyright 2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Little Women Dolls (Lissy) by Madame Alexander (1957-68)

 Alexander  Comments Off on Little Women Dolls (Lissy) by Madame Alexander (1957-68)
Dec 032014

Madame Alexander produced the Lissy-faced Little Women dolls from 1957 through 1968, representing the characters of the four March girls – Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy – and their mother Marmee – from the book by Louisa May Alcott. (Alexander spelled Marme with only one “e”.) Laurie (the boy next door) joined the group starting in 1967. Beginning in 1968, Little Women were produced using the Nancy Drew face mold, but in the catalogs, Laurie is still shown with the Lissy mold until 1972, when they started picturing him with the Nancy Drew mold as well. In 1993 there was a reissue of the four girls without Marmee or Laurie using the Lissy face.

Body Construction
In 1957 and ’58 the dolls had jointed knees and elbows; later versions had straight arms and legs. All were jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and made entirely of hard plastic with glued-on synthetic wigs. They have sleep eyes with molded lashes and are 11.5″ to 12″ tall. The dolls differ from the regular Lissy line in that they have flat feet. Beth, Jo, Marmee and Laurie are brunettes, while Meg has dark blonde hair and Amy a lighter blonde.

The clothing can be identified by the tag at the back of the neck. The outfits changed several times during the years the dolls were sold, and can be dated by the outfit. Not every outfit changed every year. This table of the outfits by year may not be completely accurate. The outfits were not always the same as pictured in the catalog. They were not pictured in the 1966 or ’68 catalogs. Click on a photo to see a larger image.

Amy Beth Jo Meg Marme
1957Catalog photo
Blue polished cotton dress, white pinafore with v-straps of embroidered trim Dark dress, print pinafore Print dress w/puff sleeves, green pinafore w/triple rick rack trim Dress w/print bodice, dark skirt
1958Catalog photo
Red dress w/white yoke & long sleeves, black trim Royal blue dress w/puff sleeves, blue and white striped pinafore Black and white check dress, apron with white straps, red skirt
1959Catalog photo
Aqua dress w/white polka dots, white sleeves w/aqua rick rack
1960Catalog photo
Aqua dress, print pinafore w/self ruffle at hem, aqua rick rack Deep pink dress w/white braid trim on collar and skirt Green dress, yellow half apron
1961Catalog photo
Dress w/puff sleeves, sheer white pinafore Lavender and white striped dress, white pinafore w/lace trim Same as previous year
1962Catalog photo
Same as previous year
1963-4Catalog photo
Same as previous year
1965Catalog photo
1967Catalog photo
Like 1958, except the red dress is a print

Copyright 2005-2014 by Zendelle Bouchard
Some photos courtesy of eBay sellers your-favorite-doll and luving_dolls.

Learn More:

Madame Alexander Dolls
On Review
by Marjorie V. Sturges Uhl
Find it on eBay.
Collector’s Encyclopedia of
Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965
by Linda Crowsey
Find it on eBay.
Madame Alexander Little People
by Marge Biggs
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.