|Studio doll by Sasha Morgenthaler. Photos courtesy of Withington Auction, Inc.|
Sasha dolls are unique in the doll world. They started out as the vision of Swiss artist Sasha Morgenthaler, to create a play doll representing the universal child. The original doll's skin tone was deliberately of a medium color depicting no particular ethnic group. She began in the 1940s creating them in her studio, but the high production costs meant that very few families could afford them. In 1965 she licensed production to Götz-Puppenfabrik GmbH of Rödental, Germany, where they were made until 1970. Beginning in 1966, the dolls were also made in England by Frido/Trendon/Sasha Dolls Ltd of Stockport. Production continued there until 1986. From 1995-2001 they were again produced by Götz.
The original Studio dolls were made of gypsum, a composition like material. Some dolls, like the one pictured above, had cloth bodies. Other were entirely of gypsum. The mass-produced dolls are of rigid vinyl with rooted synthetic hair. They are 16" tall, jointed at the neck and shoulders and strung with elastic cord. They are well made dolls that offer lots of play value.
Although the dolls are collectively known as Sasha, the boy dolls were called Gregor; when black dolls were introduced in the early 70s, the girls were named Cora and the boys Caleb. The most recent series of Sasha dolls were given individual names. Babies were also produced starting in the 1970s, and are 12" tall with bent legs.
One reason that Sasha dolls are so popular with collectors is their wonderful wardrobe. The clothes are very well made in simple, classic styles. The size of the dolls makes them easy to sew for and easy to dress.
The pictures below are of the January 1979 Sasha catalog. Click on the thumbnails to view the larger photos.
Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard.