Madame Alexander Leslie African American Doll

Tribute to My Mother

The time is the late 1960s and there were not an abundance of african american dolls on the market.  It was also a time when african american's like Leslie Uggams, Diahann Carroll, and Sidney Poitier had broken into show business.  Their images on the screen empowered us somewhat to dream higher and take pride in being included in a realm that had been completely off limited to an entire race of people.

It was also a time when african american mothers filled the lines and rows of large industrial factories.  There were long lines and minimum wages.  They often made items that they themselves could not purchase for their own families.

At the beginning of the Christmas season, my parents would take us to the, now out of business, toy emporium called "Kiddy Mart."  Just going into the store was a delight!  There were rows and rows of toys, bikes, and drum sets.  They carried almost every toy imaginable.  Well, this one Christmas I spotted the most beautiful doll I had ever seen!  Madame Alexander's Leslie Bride Doll!  My nine year old heart stopped.  She was african american and  dressed in this beautiful white dress with an accompanying long, white tulle veil.  Of course, I couldn't touch her, she was very expensive and was held captive behind locked glass with the rest of the beautiful collectible dolls.

My mom had four other children to buy for and I couldn't even form the words to ask for such an expensive item.  Back them, I think, children were a little more naïve, but we understod the pressure of the times and that we should just be "thankful" to waking up to any thing on Christmas morn!  It's Christmas and the living room is lit up and decorated with lights and brightly wrapped boxes.  I reached for the large box, too naïve to understand that the desire of my heart was held in my hot little hands!  I opened the box, looked over my shoulder and there mom stood.  She was happier, I thought, then the both of us combined.

After all these years, when I look at the doll, that's still kept in her box, I live that Christmas morning again and again...and I'm thankful for my mom's sacrifice which is more valuable than anything else in the world!

The Leslie Bride Doll that I've Searched For

My Lost Doll
My Lost Doll | Source

The Madame Alexander Company

The Alexander Doll Company was founded in 1923, is still in operation today in New York, NY USA. In 1928 a high quality line of dolls were produced and advertised as "Madame Alexander" and is the name now commonly associated with their dolls.

Over 6,500+ Madame Alexander dolls have been produced with only a few different face molds, the dolls originality lies in the various costumes, thus if your doll is not in her original costume, has no wrist tag or box - it can be nearly impossible to locate exactly who the character doll originally was.

Early cloth, wood or composition dolls maybe unmarked or marked, but should have a clothing tag of the characters name/Madame Alexander/New York USA sewn into a seam.--Madame Alexander Company

Madame Alexander 17" Leslie 1960s black bride doll in box

Estimate: $100.00 - $200.00
Realized: $60

Madame Alexander 17" Leslie 1960s black bride doll in box Wear to box.

She has been written about in Madame Alexander Celebrity Dolls 1950s - Book Index by John Axe from his book entitled "The Encyclopedia of Celebrity Dolls" by John Axe, 1983 (412 black & White pages. Information about the Leslie Bride Doll can be found on Pages 15 and 166.

Leslie , from 1965, an all-vinyl, 17-inch fashion doll, is another doll by Madame Alexander that has maintained popularity among vintage doll collectors. The above doll uses the Polly face. Another version uses the Elise head sculpt. Rumored to have been named for the actress, Leslie Uggams, Leslie was produced until the early 1970s wearing an array of fashions, including the popular bridal gown. Her counterpart is Elise! -Black Doll Collecting Blog

Care and Storage Suggestions

The following instructions were made by the Madame Alexander website:

General Care:

Keep your doll's clothes and hair dust free with a damp cloth. Do not submerge your doll in water. If your doll gets marked up, immediately use a small amount of Ivory® soap or another mild, child-safe soap to wash the mark off as soon as possible.

Storage:

Do not store your doll in a damp area, and avoid leaving or storing it for long periods of time in areas affected by direct sunlight or severe heat.

Cleaning:

Use a small quantity of Ivory® soap or another mild, child-safe soap and a soft cloth to wash/clean hard plastic and vinyl body parts. Use a small quantity of the same child-safe soap on a wet toothbrush to clean away the dirt gathered on a cloth body.

Care of Clothing:

Carefully read all the information that comes with your doll, including any clothing labels. Some play dolls have clothing that is machine washable. Others have clothing that must be hand washed in a basin of warm water using Woolite® and a bit of Era® detergent. Never scrub the clothes, rather gently squeeze or knead them until the soil comes out, then rinse them well in warm water. After washing, do not wring, but gently squeeze excess water out. To dry, attach the outfit to a hanger with safety pins at the shoulder seams. Once dry, press only iron-safe fabrics with a warm iron.

The Madame Alexander Doll Hospital

Over the years, Madame Alexander dolls may become "loved too much" and require repair. Signs of aging may include worn rubber bands or cracks that appear in a doll's arms or crotch area. Please do not use glue to repair these circumstances. Such conditions cannot be repaired at home, but if and when they do occur, the doll can be sent to Madame Alexander's Doll Hospital for repair.

To learn more about our doll hospital or to inquire about repairs, please contact the Alexander Doll Hospital at 212.283.5900 or email us at ma@alexdoll.com.

VINTAGE 1960's Madame Alexander ELISE Bride Doll 18"
VINTAGE 1960's Madame Alexander ELISE Bride Doll 18"

Collecting Dolls

Any collectible hobby can get out of hand if not properly monitored.  I did purchase a few more dolls but I realized that I LOVED vintage brooches and that is what I mainly collect.  However,  any collection you should be well-thought out.  Most collectors make the mistake of trying to purchase "everything" available in the line of their interest.  This than borders on obsession.  Scaling or planning your collection will allow you to appropriately display and give it a prominent position amongst your living environment.

Another version of the "Leslie" Bride doll using the "Polly" sculpted head.  The first version uses the "Elise" head.
Another version of the "Leslie" Bride doll using the "Polly" sculpted head. The first version uses the "Elise" head.

Celeberate Your Birthday at Madame Alexander

Celebrate your Birthday Party and Special Events at Madame Alexander's

Longtime fans, new collectors and children of all ages are invited to celebrate special occasions in a fun and unique way - at Madame Alexander's historic location in New York City.

The Alexander Doll Company offers customizable packages for birthday parties, tea parties, create-a-doll workshops, and other celebrations that provide hosts and their guests with a truly one-of-a-kind experience in the place where the dreams of generations of doll lovers have been born. Our party coordinator will work closely with you to personalize your event and to coordinate cake, treats and refreshments.

http://www.madamealexander.com/ABOUT+MADAME+ALEXANDER/Birthday+Parties/Birthday+Parties+%26+Special+Events/580

Madame Alexander Doll Repair Hospital Information

I received an email from the Madame Alexander Doll Hospital with a link to a page with detailed price information for there services. The following is information on how to ship the doll to their hospital:

Preparing a Doll for a Trip to the Alexander Doll Hospital:

Please follow this link to the price list: http://www.madamealexander.com/media/document/DollHospital_PriceList_20100615_opt.pdf

Before you send your doll to the Alexander Doll Hospital, they recommend that you review the List of Services and Prices.

  1. Undress the doll completely, including all accessories, which should not be submitted with doll.
  2. Firmly secure the doll inside the shipping carton. (Please do NOT send the doll in the original Alexander Doll box.)
  3. Enclose a detailed letter that clearly lists the repairs you would like to have done on the doll. Please type or print clearly.
  4. In the letter, please include your name, address, and daytime phone numbers. If possible, also include an e-mail address.

Mailing Instructions:

  • Send dolls by USPS registered or certified mail ONLY.
  • Please do NOT send via UPS or FedEx.
  • Insure the doll for what you believe it is worth.
  • Mail the doll to the following address:

What Happens When Your Doll Arrives at the Alexander Hospital:

Once we have received and evaluated your doll, you will be contacted by one of the Doll Hospital staff to discuss what options are available for repair of the doll. At this time, repair charges will be itemized, and you can decide what repairs, if any, you want done.

For payment, we accept personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If we do not receive payment within 30 days of the call, your doll(s) will be returned to you without being repaired.

Madame Alexander Leslie Doll
Madame Alexander Leslie Doll | Source

Madame Alexander Leslie Doll

This was a Leslie Doll that was Ebay Auction # 270687558808 -- Seller wanted $165.00

This is a beautiful Madame Alexander Leslie doll. She is all original and measures 17" tall. Her dress is tagged. The elastic is stretched in her slip and panties. She is a beautiful doll with no problems to her hair or body. Her clothing could use sprucing up and the panties are brownish and there is a brown area on the slip and a brown area on the ribbon in back. The dress is meant to be pink but it is hard to tell and needs cleaning.

Madame Alexander Leslie Doll
Madame Alexander Leslie Doll | Source
Madame Alexander Doll
Madame Alexander Doll
8" African American Bride Doll
8" African American Bride Doll

Madame Alexander Bride Doll

#10395 black "Bride" is a 8" Madame Alexander doll made for 1995 on. She is in perfect condition with her hang tag but the box lid is dented and there is a mark on it. I will combine shipping on more than one.Buyer to pay shipping . Please ask any questions before bidding.

Selling for $48.00

Madame Alexander African American Cake Topper
Madame Alexander African American Cake Topper

Cake Topper

This is Madame Alexander's African American Cake Top #33571. The set includes a bride and groom with dark hair and brown eyes dressed for their special day, along with the floral arch and the stand. They are very detailed and just as sweet as can be! We are authorized Madame Alexander doll retailers and your item will come to you new and never removed from the box.

Selling for:  $59.99

Blue Mist Angel Madame Alexander 10" Doll
Blue Mist Angel Madame Alexander 10" Doll
Blue Mist Angel Caucasian Version
Blue Mist Angel Caucasian Version

Madame Alexander Blue Mist Angel 10" Doll

#36685  From the Angel Collection.  A 10 inch doll.  RETIRED  2000. She is dressed in a beautiful satin gown with white tulle topo skirt, trimed with silver irredesant embroidery.  Top of gown is brocade, trimmed with pearls and stones.  Large feather wings, and wearing  a string of pearls.

Selling for:  $65.00

Madame Alexander Blue Mist Angel

This is the caucasian version. Selling range was $49.99 to $135.00

Madame Alexander Caucasian Blue Mist Angel from 2000, No. 25290 is a 10 inch Cissette lady doll with pale blonde wig put up in top curls, and moving blue eyes. This angel dollis wearing a long blue satin gown topped by glimmering lace, a blue brocade bodice with rhinestones and sequin and pearl straps, a pearl necklace, white fur-like wings, and blue high heel satin shoes.

Madame Alexander Cisette Kawanzaa Doll

Madame Alexander Kawanzaa Doll - 10"  Selling for $105.00
Madame Alexander Kawanzaa Doll - 10" Selling for $105.00

Kawanzaa African American Doll - 10"

ALX0645 Madame Alexander Nomsa Celebrates Kwanza Doll 1995

Madame Alexander 10 Inch Nomsa Celebrates Kwanza No. 10368 from the 1995 holiday collection, is a stunning black (African-American or African) Cissette fashion doll.

Her long black hair is styled in ringlets with some of them draping behind her back and others put up in her burgundy and gold turban with gold looped earring sewn to it.

Like other Cissette dolls in 1995, her eyes do move on their own when she is laid down, but they move easily with assistance.

Dressed in gold burgundy, browns and blacks, she is wearing a hooded, cape-like burgundy and black robe lined with gold and trimmed in gold brocade and tassel over a gold striped dress that secures at the neck with a golden hoop collar.

There is a yellow with golden jewel near the neckline at the front of the dress and golden elastic wristbands. She also wears golden tights and high heel shoes.

She comes in near mint condition except for the factory flaw noted and a box that shows wear and fading of the letters.

She has been kept closed inside her box and has been in a smoke-free, animal-free environment. The coloring of her dress is even, and not like the glare of the flash. She has her booklet.

Nomsa Madame Alexander Doll
Nomsa Madame Alexander Doll

Madame Alexander African American Coquette Cissy Doll

Acceptance Speech Coquette Cissy Doll (African American)
By Madame Alexander
Event: EXPO EAST 2004
Limited Edition: 50
10 inch Madame Coquette Cissy Doll
Sku: 40155
For Ages 14 and up

This is the First Madame Alexander African American Coquette 10 inch Cissy Doll. She was introduced at 2004 the Walt Disney World Doll and Teddy Bear Expo in an extremely limited edition of just 50 pieces. Don't miss this rare Madame Alexander EXPO exclusive!

This is a Rare Retired Edition. Limited quantities remain.

Priced at $199.00

Madame Alexander "Nomsa Celebrates Kwanza"

She is one of the most beautiful Madame Alexander 10" Dolls I've ever seen. Meet "Nomsa Celebrates Kwanza" from the 1995 Holiday Collection, Limited Edition.

She is #10368 and 1 of 4 dolls in the set.

She is in mint condition and has been stored in her original box. As you can see by the pictures, her beautiful dress and cape are both elaborately trimmed in gold. Nomsa even has a gold hoop necklace that holds up her dress and gold hoop earrings. Her face is gorgeous with her beautiful skin color and black eyes. And her hair is done in long black, twisted ringlets.Her cape has two gold ornamental pieces of jewelry on the front of it with an African print on the material.

The colors are very deep and vibrant. The hood on the cape is even decorated with a gold emblem and tassle. I took a picture of her shoes and nylons so you could see that they are gold too. She is a one of a kind doll and hard to find. I hope you love her as much as I do!

Selling from $25.00 to 69.99

Madame Alexander African AmericanCoquette Cissy Doll
Madame Alexander African AmericanCoquette Cissy Doll

Coquette Cissy 10" Doll

Acceptance Speech Coquette Cissy Doll (African American)
By Madame Alexander
Event: EXPO EAST 2004
Limited Edition: 50
10 inch Madame Coquette Cissy Doll
Sku: 40155
For Ages 14 and up

This is the First Madame Alexander African American Coquette 10 inch Cissy Doll. She was introduced at 2004 the Walt Disney World Doll and Teddy Bear Expo in an extremely limited edition of just 50 pieces. Don't miss this rare Madame Alexander EXPO exclusive!

This is a Rare Retired Edition. Limited quantities remain. 

Selling for $195.00

21'' SIZZLING CISSY MADAME ALEXANDER AFRICAN AMERICAN
21'' SIZZLING CISSY MADAME ALEXANDER AFRICAN AMERICAN
Sizzling Cissy - CU 2004 AA - 39196
Sizzling Cissy - CU 2004 AA - 39196

21" Sizzling Cissy Madame Alexander Dolls

 

Sizzling Cissy African American Limited edition of 60... from the CU Gathering Atlanta 2004

Sizzling Cissy is dressed in a full length red satin coat with jewel buttons that opens to reveal a red corset and black fishnet stockings. She comes in both Caucasian and African American styles.

Selling for $425.00

Vienna Cissy 21'' Madame Alexander Limited Edition
Vienna Cissy 21'' Madame Alexander Limited Edition

Vienna Cissy 21'' Madame Alexander Limited Edition

 Vienna Cissy, Made in 2000, Limited Edition of 600

DRESSED IN BURGUNDY JACKET/CAPE AND SKIRT, BEAUTIFUL BLUE SLEEPY EYES. ~ SHE HAS A BEAUTY MARK UNDER HER LEFT EYE.  CURLY AUBURN HAIR, HAT HAS LACE AND A RHINESTONE PIN ATTACHED TO HAT

Selling for $295.00

Continuous Search

As information for the African American Dolls seem to be short and hard to come by, I will be updating the hub with reference information as I come across it!

Happy collecting!

More by this Author


Comments 7 comments

gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

What a fantastic, information-packed hub you made!

I like the way you started off with your childhood experience. It is precious.

Looking at all the Madame Alexander dolls with the bridal gowns made me think of something. When my parents were getting ready to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, my sister wanted to do something special. So she bought a Madame Alexander doll, and took it to a talented seamstress she knew. This seamstress looked at a picture of the original, satin wedding gown that my mother wore on her wedding day, and sewed as good a copy as she could for the doll. At the anniversary party, the doll was put up on a pedestal for everyone to admire. With all the old pictures, flowers and balloons we had that day, it truly added to the memories.


Lady Summerset 5 years ago

Gracenotes that story touched me deeply. Similarly, my plan was to find enough of these to give to each of my granddaughters when they get married!

Kudos to your sister for such a touching and memorable idea. I often tell my family that the most important thing we can do for each other is to "create" beautiful and loving memories for each other.

Thanks for your comment, it blessed me!


catydid52 profile image

catydid52 5 years ago from Windsor

This is priceless! I love the story of your childhood memory.I never knew doll collecting could be so lucrative. This is written beautifully, informative and simply precious!


Lady Summerset profile image

Lady Summerset 5 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey Author

Greetings catydid52, I'm honored by your presence on my hub. I've learned one thing over time and that is the "memories" we create last over a lifetime. Thanks so much for stopping by!


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 4 years ago from Maine

I don't believe this, I have the same exact doll. My parents bought her for me when I was 12 years old from Macy's 34th Street. That Christmas was a Christmas I will never forget. I just took my doll out of my hope chest for my husband to see, he was shocked. You are so lucky that you kept your box, I wish I did and you have kept your doll looking great. I wonder if the doll hospital could spruce my doll up for me. Thank you so much for this wonderful hub!


Lady Summerset profile image

Lady Summerset 4 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey Author

Greetings creativelycc, I'm so glad that I could bring a smile to your face! My original doll was stolen and I scoured doll forums and finally found another one on Ebay! Was so happy to get her! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your doll!


Angel 21 months ago

I am so so proud to call you my sister! You have such an ieldnribce talent. Yay for finally having a blog! Your passion is seen in each and everyone of your photos. I look up to you I'm so many ways and hope to someday have a job that I enjoy as much as you enjoy yours. I love you with all of my heart!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working