Another one of my favorite project dolls is my 1951-52 Madame Alexander Alice in Wonderland. This doll has quite a story, and like my Wendy Bride project doll, is not finished yet.
I bought this doll back in about 2002 or 2003. I think when all was said and done, I paid about $175 to complete her (and this is when prices were considerably higher, before the economy had impacted eBay).
I was able to get her because my mom and I helped out a guy who was selling a Madame Alexander doll collection on eBay. There were a whole bunch of 14-inch hard plastic dolls, and he had the wrong clothes on all of them. We helped him straighten everything out, and in exchange he let us buy Alice directly from him. (My Snow White also came from this seller — same collection.)
It took a lot of back-and-forth emails, but we were finally able to determine that he still had the correct dress and half-slip/undies combo. The doll also has her original hair ribbon in her hair. He had already sold her apron in a large lot of miscellaneous items, but the buyer of the lot gladly sold it to us.
I found the correct black patent fuzzy-bottomed shoes on eBay. I also know that I bought her stockings separately — I don't recall how I pulled that off, but I think they were on another doll that I either bought, or asked the seller to sell me just the stockings. Stockings are hard to find, so I was incredibly lucky not just to find stockings, but also the correct stockings for the doll! (Unfortunately, you can't see them very well in the pictures, but they have an open fishnet-like weave to them.)
By the way, an interesting note about these Alice in Wonderland dolls: Although their dresses were originally blue, all of the taffeta versions fade to lavender and sometimes pink. Madame Alexander apparently used an unstable blue dye during this period, as the same thing happens with the blue taffeta used on other dolls, such as the 1959 Sleeping Beauty Elise.
Labels: hard plastic strung dolls