This doll has come into my life twice now. I originally bought a group of dolls from a New York collector in the early 1990s. They had purchased a number of dolls from an estate sale of a Madame Alexander sales representative. The dolls were from the late 1950s to mid-1960s. At the time, this was not a particularly popular era of dolls to collect. After the purchase, I sold this Shari Lewis to a friend of mine whose collection focused on the large mid-century fashion dolls by Madame Alexander.
I repurchased this Shari Lewis when Alzheimer's required full-time care and the family decided to start the slow process of downsizing. My friend and I had always known this was a very rare doll, but in the entire time we have both owned this doll, neither have ever known of another No. 2440 Shari Lewis in either the 21" size or the 14" size that the 1959 Alexander Doll Company Doll Catalog shows. At some point in time, the coat had come off to study its construction, and unfortunately got separated from the collection. I had taken a very quick photo when I first received the doll wearing the coat, but alas, the coat worn by this Shari Lewis did not come back to me when I repurchased her.
Probably intended as the showpiece of the Shari Lewis series of 1959, this is defiantly the most glamorous doll of the group. She is dressed in a champagne slipper satin, with very soft pink accents and pearl jewelry to compliment the colors. Its possible the doll just did not get enough orders to produce, and perhaps only a few sales samples were made. The colors of the ensemble and Shari's auburn hair are really striking if a bit low key compared to the other more colorfully attired dolls of the Shari Lewis series licenced for the popular morning children's TV programing. If anyone has or has seen another one like this, please share your doll or your collecting experience.