"Alabama to Alexander"
Auction of American Made Dolls
October 11, 2021 at 6:00 PM Central
Online @ Liveauctioneers.com
Presenting the largest, well-loved, privately owned
collection of Ella Smith’s Alabama Indestructible Dolls,
direct from Roanoke, Alabama.
Dr. John Holmes, a long-time resident of Roanoke and the beloved town doctor, grew this collection over decades. This is the first time many of these dolls have ever left Roanoke, where Ella Smith’s historic home still stands on Main Street along with the building behind it that served as her doll-making factory until production ended in 1925. In the height of production, this building eventually housed up to a dozen women who helped Smith hand sew and paint dolls from her patented design of molded heads from stockinette and plaster, and bodies and arms from cambric and heavy cotton sourced from local textile mills. During this time, sales catalogues showed dolls ranging from 12 to 36 inches with choice of painted hair or wig, clothes and skin tone to include black dolls, a first for a southern doll manufacturer at that time and highly sought after by collectors today. Smith is buried within walking distance of her beloved home and doll factory in the historic Roanoke Cedarwood Cemetery.