Monday, February 18, 2019

Madame Alexander Heads to the 18th-Century (Part 1)

Barbie isn't the only doll that time travels! Madame Alexander dolls have been around since 1923, when Beatrice Alexander--the Madame Alexander herself!--began designing and selling dolls with a unique look and quality styles. Over the year, Madame Alexander dolls have ranged from literary characters, movie characters, ballerinas, fashion icons and just about everything in between. By 1980, the company was producing 1 million dollars a year--an astonishing feat, especially considering that the original owner ran the company until she sold it in 1988.

Among the many offerings that Madame Alexander has released over the years are a selection of historical dolls, including both actual historical figures and simply 18th century inspired dolls. Let's dive right in! And who knows, maybe you'll find a new doll (or two or three) to add to your wish-list!

Marie Antoinette (1946) 

 [image: Theriault's]
This beauty is a composition doll created by Madame Alexander for her 1946 Portrait series. She was inspired by Marie Antoinette and is one of the first among Madame Alexander dolls inspired by the queen. This lavishly detailed gown includes handmade silk flowers, bows, trim, and a hand-painted face. Like all of the older Madame Alexander dolls, she is hard to come by, and had a very limited production.

Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun

Yes, even Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun has her own doll! This charming doll features an outfit inspired by a self-portrait of the artist, and includes details such as her flowered straw hat, a lace shawl, and delicate earrings. This doll was a LE250.

Marie Antoinette (1987)

 [image: EBTH]

This doll was released in 1987 and is the second of Madame Alexander's dolls based on Marie Antoinette, though it was the first to be mass produced. This particular doll features miniature faux pearls, a decorative hand fan, and a youthful dress with pink and blue details that give the doll a more youthful "dauphine-like" appearance. This doll was LE325.

"1774" MetKids Collection

 [image source: Ebay]

This interesting doll was part of a collection created for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring dolls with fashions from various historical eras. "1774" features a fashion inspired by the 1770s, with an embroidered gown, ruffled details, and of course, a giant feather. This doll was LE150.

Duchess of Devonshire

This depiction of the famous Georgiana Cavendish is from The Historical Collection,  and features an English-style striped gown with floral details and an extravagantly large hat, as befitting the famous duchess. This doll was LE350.

Marie Antoinette (2005)

This vision in pink and red is the third of Madame Alexander's Marie Antoinette dolls, and features bows, ribbon embroidery, miniature jewelry and a very large (and very white!) hairdo. This doll was LE700, much higher than many other Madame Alexander releases.

Marie Antoinette (2009)

[image: Matilda's Dolls 

This is the fourth and so far latest Marie Antoinette from Madame Alexander. It was released in 2009 and features a pink dress with beautiful floral trim and a youthful, Sofia Coppola-esque aesthetic. This doll was LE300.

Coming in Part 2: Madame Alexander Meets Madame Pompadour...

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