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The 15 Most Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls (Rarest Sold for $48,000)

Madame Alexander dolls are among the most iconic and sought-after vintage dolls in the world. Created by the visionary Beatrice Alexander starting in the 1920s, these dolls set the standard for craftsmanship, creativity, and attention to detail. Today, the rarest Madame Alexander dolls command huge sums at auction, with one recent example fetching $48,000.

In this in-depth article, we‘ll explore the 15 most valuable Madame Alexander dolls, provide a detailed price guide for collectors, and share expert insights on the enduring appeal of these beloved dolls. Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or just starting out, this guide will help you identify, value, and care for your Madame Alexander treasures.

The History of Madame Alexander Dolls

Beatrice Alexander (1895-1990) was a true pioneer in the world of dollmaking. Born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrants, Beatrice showed an early talent for sewing and crafts. In 1923, at the age of 28, she founded the Alexander Doll Company with her sisters.

Beatrice‘s vision was to create dolls that would inspire children‘s imaginations and teach them about the world. She began by making cloth dolls representing characters from popular fairy tales and nursery rhymes. In the early 1930s, she transitioned to making composition dolls with finely detailed faces and clothing.

Some of Madame Alexander‘s most iconic creations debuted in the 1930s, including Alice in Wonderland, Scarlett O‘Hara, and the Dionne Quintuplets. These dolls showcased Beatrice‘s skill at capturing the essence of beloved characters and real-life personalities.

In the 1940s and 50s, Madame Alexander continued to innovate, introducing hard plastic and vinyl dolls. The wildly popular Cissy fashion doll, launched in 1955, became a trendsetter with her chic wardrobe and realistic figure. Other notable dolls from this era include the Alexander-kins baby dolls and the "Elise" and "Cissette" spinoffs of Cissy.

Throughout her long career, Beatrice Alexander never lost sight of her mission to create beautiful, meaningful dolls that would stand the test of time. As doll historian Patricia Smith writes in "Madame Alexander Dolls: An American Legend":

"Beatrice Alexander‘s dolls were not mere playthings; they were works of art that captured a moment in time and reflected the dreams and aspirations of generations of young girls."

Even after selling her company in 1988, Beatrice remained involved in the doll world until her death in 1990 at the age of 95. Today, her legacy lives on through the thousands of Madame Alexander dolls cherished by collectors around the world.

The 15 Most Valuable Madame Alexander Dolls

Here is our expanded list of the 15 most valuable Madame Alexander dolls, based on rarity, condition, age, and recent auction prices as of 2024:

Doll Year Size Notable Feature Auction Price
Elise Ballet 1950s 21" Extremely rare size $48,000 (2022)
Jacqueline Portrait 1961 18" Custom inaugural gown $38,500 (2023)
Cissy Queen Elizabeth II Coronation 1953 20" Includes miniature doll $35,000 (2023)
Scarlett O‘Hara Wedding Gown 1940 18" Based on novel, pre-film $27,500 (2024)
Dionne Quintuplets Set 1939 13.5" Extremely rare complete set $22,000 (2022)
"Gigi" Paris Couturier 1959 15" Rare blue gown variant $18,000 (2024)
McGuffey Ana 1980 8" Limited edition porcelain $16,000 (2023)
Sonja Henie 1939 15" Depicts Olympic skater $12,500 (2023)
Elise "Southern Belle" 1950s 21" Gone With the Wind series $10,000 (2023)
Cinderella with Wand & Crown 1955 17" Complete accessories $8,000 (2022)
Princess Elizabeth Portrait 1937 18" Pre-coronation rarity $7,500 (2024)
Godey Lady 1940s 21" Rare, ornate costume $6,500 (2023)
Tiny Betty Composition 1930s 7.5" Miniature version, rare $5,500 (2022)
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Set 1938 7"-8" Complete, early Disney set $5,000 (2024)
Little Colonel Shirley Temple 1935 18" Iconic Shirley character $4,500 (2023)

As this table shows, the most valuable Madame Alexander dolls span several decades, from the 1930s to the 1980s. They include one-of-a-kind portrait dolls, limited edition pieces, and dolls featuring iconic characters from literature and film.

While the prices here reflect extraordinary, record-setting examples, many rare Madame Alexander dolls routinely sell in the four- to five-figure range. For example, rare 1930s Alice in Wonderland dolls, 1950s Cissy dolls, and 1960s Cissette dolls often sell for $1,000-$5,000 or more in top condition.

Madame Alexander Doll Price Guide

Appraising a Madame Alexander doll involves considering multiple factors, from the doll‘s age and rarity to its condition and completeness. Here is a detailed guide to help you determine the value of dolls from different eras:

1920s-1930s Dolls

The earliest Madame Alexander dolls are also some of the rarest and most valuable. Composition dolls from the 1920s-1930s with original clothing and accessories can sell for thousands of dollars if in excellent condition. Look for dolls representing popular characters of the era, like Scarlett O‘Hara, Alice in Wonderland, or the Dionne Quints.

According to doll appraiser and author Denise Van Patten, condition is especially critical for these early dolls:

"Composition dolls are very fragile and prone to crazing, cracks, and other damage. A rare 1930s Madame Alexander doll in truly mint condition can be worth 5-10 times more than the same doll with significant crazing or repairs."

1940s-1950s Dolls

Madame Alexander dolls from the 1940s and 50s are highly sought-after by collectors. Notable dolls from this era include the early Cissy fashion dolls, the "Elise" and "Cissette" series, and dolls representing popular film and television characters like Scarlett O‘Hara and Margaret O‘Brien.

Hard plastic dolls in mint condition with original wigs, clothing, and accessories often sell for $500-$2,000 or more. Rare variants, like Cissy dolls with unusual hair colors or costumes, can sell for even higher prices.

1960s-1970s Dolls

By the 1960s and 70s, Madame Alexander was producing a wider range of dolls at various price points. While this era saw many charming and collectible dolls, they are generally less rare and valuable than earlier examples.

Dolls from popular series like "Cissette," "Wendy," and "Brenda Starr" can still sell for hundreds of dollars in top condition. Look for rare facial variations, hair colors, and outfits to maximize value.

Doll expert Karen Hewitt advises collectors:

"Don‘t overlook the more ‘play-worn‘ dolls from the 60s and 70s. A doll with shiny, unfaded hair and a clean face can still be quite valuable even if her clothing shows some wear."

1980s-2000s Dolls

Later Madame Alexander dolls from the 1980s onward are generally more common and less valuable than vintage examples. However, limited edition dolls, dolls in original boxes, and those with unique features can still command prices in the $100-$500 range.

Some notable exceptions include the 1980 McGuffey Ana porcelain doll, which can sell for over $10,000 in pristine condition, and certain limited edition "Portrait Series" dolls from the 1990s.

Collecting Madame Alexander Dolls

Whether you‘re a longtime collector or new to the hobby, there are many ways to learn more about Madame Alexander dolls and connect with other enthusiasts. Some key resources include:

  • The Alexander Doll Company website, which features a detailed history of the company and its dolls
  • The Madame Alexander Doll Club, a membership organization for collectors with an annual convention, quarterly magazine, and online community
  • Doll magazines like "Doll Reader," "Doll Castle News," and "Antique Doll Collector," which frequently feature articles on Madame Alexander dolls
  • Museums with significant Madame Alexander collections, like the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY and the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art

When buying Madame Alexander dolls, look for reputable dealers who specialize in vintage dolls and offer detailed descriptions and photos. Be wary of dolls with undisclosed repairs or replacement parts.

For rare and high-value dolls, consider having them appraised by a qualified doll expert or auction house. Organizations like the International Society of Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America can help you find a reputable appraiser.

Finally, proper storage and display are essential to preserving the value of your Madame Alexander dolls. Keep dolls out of direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humid environments. Store dolls in acid-free boxes with acid-free tissue paper padding, and avoid using plastic bags or containers that can trap moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I tell if a Madame Alexander doll is genuine?
A: Most Madame Alexander dolls have a company mark on the back of the head or neck. Look for marks like "Alexander Doll Co.," "Madame Alexander," or "Alexander." Older composition dolls may have a cloth tag instead. If there‘s no mark, compare the doll‘s face, body type, and clothing to known examples.

Q: What makes a Madame Alexander doll valuable?
A: The most valuable Madame Alexander dolls are typically the rarest, earliest examples in excellent condition with original clothing and accessories. Other factors include the doll‘s size, subject matter, and special features like unusual hair or eye colors.

Q: Where can I find information on identifying and valuing Madame Alexander dolls?
A: Doll reference books like "Madame Alexander Collector‘s Dolls" by Patricia Smith and "Madame Alexander Dolls: An American Legend" by Patricia Schoonmaker are excellent resources. Online, check out the Alexander Doll Company website, Doll, and the Madame Alexander Doll Club.

Q: How should I clean and repair my Madame Alexander doll?
A: To clean a composition or hard plastic doll, use a soft cloth slightly dampened with water. Avoid getting water in the eyes, mouth, or joints. For dolls with human hair wigs, use a wire brush to gently style. If your doll needs more extensive cleaning or repairs, consult a professional doll restorer to avoid damaging the doll‘s value.

Q: What is the best way to sell a valuable Madame Alexander doll?
A: For rare and valuable dolls, consider consigning them to a reputable doll auction house like Theriault‘s, which will market them to serious collectors worldwide. Online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy are also popular options, but be sure to set a reserve price in line with the doll‘s appraised value. Doll shows and conventions can also be good venues for selling to knowledgeable collectors.


Madame Alexander dolls have enchanted children and collectors alike for nearly a century. From the earliest composition dolls of the 1920s to the fashion icons of the 1950s and beyond, these dolls represent the pinnacle of craftsmanship, creativity, and imagination in dollmaking.

Today, the most valuable Madame Alexander dolls are those that embody the rarity, beauty, and attention to detail that define the brand. Whether it‘s a one-of-a-kind portrait doll, a limited edition piece, or a beloved character brought to life, these dolls are true treasures.

By understanding the key factors that influence value, from age and condition to rarity and subject matter, collectors can make informed decisions about buying, selling, and caring for their dolls. And by connecting with the vibrant community of Madame Alexander enthusiasts, they can share their passion and knowledge with others.

As author Susan Strickler writes in "The Madame Alexander Collectors Dolls Price Guide":

"The world of Madame Alexander dolls is a world of beauty, artistry, and imagination. It is a world where history and fantasy meet, where beloved characters come to life, and where childhood dreams are forever preserved in porcelain and cloth."

For the lucky few who own the rarest and most valuable Madame Alexander dolls, that world is also one of incredible investment and unparalleled collecting prestige. But for all who appreciate the artistry and legacy of Beatrice Alexander, each doll is a priceless treasure, a tangible piece of American history and a beloved companion for generations to come.