Swiss-made Papier-mâché and Cloth Doll

Name: Swiss-made Papier-mâché and Cloth Doll

Made by and When: Hanna Furher, 1950s

Material: Papier-mâché sculpted face; cloth body, arms, and legs; animal hair, leather

Marks: Hanna Furher / Zürich (written on the sole of each shoe)

Height: 19 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Long brown straight hair attached to a hide, painted brown eyes, closed mouth with full lips, broad nose and open nostrils

Clothes: Original green floral-print dress handmade to fit the doll, belted with the same fabric at the waist; white knit undergarment, white socks, handmade brown leather shoes that close with a pearlized button on the ankle strap

Other: Hanna Furher of Switzerland might have been inspired by the doll art of Sasha Morgenthaler or might have been a student of Morgenthaler. This doll has very similar qualities as Sasha’s studio dolls. A similar doll sold in a Theriault’s auction along with Sasha studio dolls. The similar doll was mislabeled as Gregor with blue eyes and blonde hair.  The Furher doll has stitched fingers, a separate thumb, and toeless feet as seen here. This doll was purchased in an online auction. No additional information about the artist is known; however, some of the doll’s history was later received in an October 2019 note that is copied below:

Hello Debbie, My name is Tim xxxxx and I’m sending this message regarding your doll by Hanna Fuhrer. She came from my ex-wife’s grandmother from Rottweil, Germany. She lived in Zurich after the war for a few years where she acquired the doll. She told my ex-wife that it was a very special doll but nobody in her family can remember why. We contacted a few doll specialists both in Germany and Switzerland and only received one reply from Zurich. This was more than 15 years ago and I don’t remember who they were but they mentioned Sasha Morgenthaler studio as a possible origin. We brought the doll to Denver from Rottweil in 2001 and sold her along with many other items probably in 2014.



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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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