Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monica Doll Studio

Monica Doll Studio was in operation in Hollywood, CA from 1941 to 1952. The dolls were designed by Mrs Hansi Share, who wanted to market a doll with rooted hair so that children could brush and style it. Glued wigs did not allow for much play by children, so Mrs Share designed a doll with human hair that was rooted into a cement-like composite material.

Monica was the first of these dolls, and three more dolls were created for the line: Veronica, Rosalind, and Joan. The dolls are made of composition and range in size from 15 - 24 inches tall. The tallest dolls may have been made with hard stuffed cloth bodies. Their eyes are painted with great detail and they come in dresses and gowns appropriate for the time period. The dolls are unmarked, but it's hard to mistake them for anything else, as they were the only dolls manufactured at this time, with rooted hair. Their face sculptures and paint are also very recognizable and distinctive.

From 1948 to 1952, Monica Doll Studio made a hard plastic doll with rooted hair. Her name is Marion.

Monica Doll Studio dolls do occasionally come up for sale, and it's difficult to find one without balding (due to hair breakage) and composition crazing - but keep looking. These dolls are unique and have beautiful faces. Truly a doll for the golden age of Hollywood.

My Monica Studio dolls are both 20 inches tall and are fully made of composition material. One has been re-dressed, and the other comes with her original gown. Both dolls have had to have crazing repair, but luckily, they have most of their hair, despite some breakage. The re-dressed doll, I am fairly certain, is Monica, but I'm not sure who the other one is. I may just call her Rosalind, after screen legend Rosalind Russell. Anyone see a resemblance?

1 comment:

  1. In the early 1970s I once spent a few hours talking to Hansi Share. She was living in West Los Angeles at the time. She originally wanted to be a singer.