Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Elise Ballerina

Fortunately, not every good deal has to be a project doll. I do love my project dolls, but sometimes I feel equally as strong an attachment to an almost-perfect doll.

In a prior post, I mentioned that Madame Alexander is one of my favorite 1950s doll manufacturers to collect. This is especially true for Elise, the 16-inch pre-Barbie fashion doll that Madame Alexander started making in 1957. She made this type of Elise until the early 1960s, when she changed over to the skinny, flat-chested Elise body.

When I was a kid, my mom sometimes would let my sister and I play with her childhood dolls, all but one of which were Madame Alexander. My favorite of these dolls was a redhead Elise Ballerina wearing a pink costume. As a result of this childhood attachment, when I started collecting vintage dolls one of my first missions was to find an Elise Ballerina.

My Elise Ballerina was a great find, to be sure. I only paid about $125 for her, despite the fact that she is complete and unplayed with: She still has her hair net in her hair, and her toe shoe ribbons are still in the factory bows. Her only flaw is that someone apparently didn't like her flowers, and removed them from her tutu. She is also missing her flowered tiara.

As you can see, she is exquisite and well-deserving of her place among my favorite dolls. In my next post, I'll discuss how to date an early Elise Ballerina.

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