Did you know that one of Madame Alexanders most loved and well-known doll releases, the composition Dionne Quintuplets series from 1935-1939, was based on a real life family? Well, it’s true! The Dionne Quintuplets were the first set of Quintuplets to be born in Canada. The story of their early years is sad and fascinating at the same time.
The Canadian government took the children away from their family and built ‘Quintland’ across from their family’s home. The children grew up in a nursery staffed by doctors and nurses. At certain times throughout the day, spectators could go to the facility and watch the kids play and do other things, like animals in a zoo. The girls couldn’t see the crowd, but they could hear them and knew very well that they were being watched. The story is a fascinating tale. It’s definitely something to look into if you’re bored and want to learn about something new!
Because of the girls popularity, the Dionne’s graced advertising campaigns, souvenirs and, of course, they were eventually made into dolls by the great Madame Alexander Doll Company. Each doll wore a different color dress and a name tag, so you knew which girl your doll was modeled after. The Dionne dolls were sold in various shapes and sizes. Madame Alexander even went so far as to make a composition doctor and nurse doll to care for the miniature sized quints.
I own two Madame Alexander quints and want to eventually add more to my collection. For years, my quints have lived in their faded original outfit or, in the case of the bent leg baby, in a diaper. It’s been on my to-do list to give them a new look, since they’ve already been touched up by the fantastic doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Finally, I’ve done it. Commissioned from Loll’s Doll Trunk on Etsy, my quints now look quite stylish in their reproduction looks.
For the baby with painted hair, I wanted a romper. Her legs are bent, so they don’t allow her to stand. Instead of dealing with a dress that may not lay right on a sitting doll, this reproduction romper outfit seemed like the way to go. It’s based on this look.
Lolly’s outfits are so well made! She did a wonderful job. They look very close to the original outfits seen in photos of the Dionne quintuplets releases. My standing girl with hair is wearing a dress very similar to the one she has worn most of her life. Her original outfit was faded and very thin. Most likely, it was yellow or pink. I wasn’t crazy about a yellow or pink dress, to be honest, so instead, I asked Lolly to make a pretty green dress for this quint. The look was based on this image. I think it looks so great on my doll!
One day, I hope to have at least one example of each ‘type’ of quint Madame Alexander produced, along with the nurse and doctor, of course! I have a long way to go, but there’s still a few doll shows left this year, so who know what might happen!
I’m very happy with how these two looks turned out! Thanks a lot, Lolly! Had the Dionne story crossed your path before? What do you think of these looks? Let me know in the comment area.