Topsy-Turvy dolls originated as cloth dolls and have a very interesting story that I shared in chapter 1, page 46 of Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.
Topsy Turvy, also known as Double Doll, Two-in-One, and Upside Down dolls first appeared in the South in the 1800s. These dolls share one body. Each doll’s dress or skirt, when flipped, hides the other doll underneath. It is widely believed that servants made these dolls for their children using dress scraps. The slave child would play with the white side in the absence of the slave master. Upon the slave master’s approach, the child would flip the doll over to the black side to hide the forbidden-to-play-with white doll. Others postulate the dolls were made by slaves for their masters’ children, who were forbidden to play with black dolls. In the absence of their parents, the white child would play with the black doll and flip the doll to the white side upon their parents’ or other disapproving person’s approach.
Margaret face mold. Above is the 15-inch version with custom-made clothing (two dresses that replicate her original dress) and other fashions professionally made for her.
Leslie Uggams, Leslie was produced until the early 1970s wearing an array of fashions, including the popular bridal gown. Her counterpart is Elise.
These and other dolls by Madame Alexander continue to enhance the collections of doll enthusiasts.
Baby Ellen (1972), Victoria (2002), Pussy Cat (1992), and an earlier Baby Ellen (1965)
Friends From Foreign Lands and International 8-inch dolls by Alexander
Jamaica (1987), Africa (1991), Africa (1988), and Mali (1996)
Click here for the history (through 2001) of the Alexander Doll Company.