Advice from sasha morgenthaler

Dear Diary,

"It is better a child have one doll to enjoy, keep and play with for many years, than many dolls used briefly and discarded.  A single doll is then treated as people should be treated, with loyalty, consideration and love."  

Sasha Morgenthaler, Look, 1964

Jesse:  Dear readers - What do you think? Do you agree with Sasha? Do you have one most special  doll?  Please take a moment and share your thoughts in the comment section!


  1. When I first started my doll collection I acquired every doll I liked and could afford. Then I fell in love with one particular doll- Bleuette and since I couldn't afford a vintage Bleue, I bought reproductions, whom I love, but now I feel I have far too many. I wish I had concentrated on just a very few so I could really enjoy them, especially sewing for them. I know I need to sell some of them, and all those other dolls I bought at first, but I just can't get over that hump of deciding which ones should go. I look at their faces and back they go on the shelf (or worse yet, box). I couldn't possibly sew for all of them, then I feel guilty for ignoring them . Anyway, I agree that just a few special ones is best. Oh, and I love Sasha dolls second favorite.

  2. I have one special doll from my childhood - I got her when I was 1 year old and have blogged about her before. I cut her hair and regretted it so vowed to have it re-rooted and many years later fulfilled that vow (at great expense) - see Later I was able to identify her as a Palitoy doll I had several other dolls as a child, some very tiny pocket dolls (Judith lived in a tin in my pocket when I went to school and I still have her).

  3. Hi Jesse, this is a very interesting concept.
    I can only imagine the many observations and experiences that were perhaps behind Sasha's thinking. Perhaps it was a keen observation of a growing consumerist society and 'throw away' attitudes. Perhaps it came from her experiences of seeing so many children living in war-torn times or in poverty where just one little handmade doll can bring some light, joy, comfort and loyal friendship to a child.
    I can certainly appreciate the idea that a child focus love, caring and loyalty on one doll.

    Quality and not quantity. It's so easy to lavish children, especially in the world of today, with 'too much'. I have seen children have so many gifts that they're not as valued and treasured as one special gift might be.
    I have also observed children who are capable of treasuring many gifts and many dolls. They care for them all collectively as you would a special group of friends.
    I have many dolls. Some come and go, but mostly they stay! I love and care for them all as I do my real-life friends. I can appreciate Sasha's thinking and would love to know the full context of her thoughts. The thought of one special doll being 'enough' is a beautiful one and sometimes when I'm working on my own dolls I hope for the same. To create something, whether a studio doll, a more mass-produced doll, or just a simple rag doll that wholeheartedly appeals and speaks to a child is a wonderful thing. If it comes from love, creativity and simple beauty then one doll can be the only companion that you will need.

  4. She's right!
    Children are confused with too many things to play with and to care for.
    I got 5 children and I noticed again and again:
    after tidying up with them, getting the room empty - they instantly began to play nicely. Cause the confusion was gone and there was space again for their fantasy to bloom.
    They had one doll each (boys and girls), and I was also ever trying to avoid that cheep plushfigures. They had one or two really beautiful made, for the same reason.

    Mad mother :)

  5. Jesse, this is a BIG question! I think that everyone , even children will have one doll that they will 'attach' to.As a Child I never had lots of dolls, only one at any one time and my three daughters did not have lots of dolls only one or two.
    It's only since I have been ensnared by Sasha that I am surrounded by many dolls and not just Sasha's.
    Could I pick only one doll as the most special to me?
    No and it's because I am at heart a story teller, so a few of my dolls have because characters with personalities and so I have a core of dolls that I don't think I will ever part with. They are not the most beautiful or the most valuable but they are the ones that introduced themselves to me and revealed their secret selves.
    So my answer to Sasha's quote above is , for some children/people, more than one doll can be treated with consideration, love and loyalty.

    1. I totally agree with Dee on that last point. Having only one doll would be like saying that you could only cook with one ingredient. There's a big difference between the needs of a child vs. an adult doll enthusiast. I still vividly remember getting Sasha 40-some years ago. I sometimes half jokingly say that I should have pestered my mother into buying me a second one! However at the time, one Gregor seemed like enough.

  6. All of us , at some point in our lives confuse want with need, so everyone is probably guilty of having more than they need. That said, it is nigh on impossible to own just one Sasha doll, they look better grouped together and it is really hard to own just one as they are so addictive...I think Sasha herself knew that when she made that comment ...she secretly knew that once you bought ONE Sasha you would be back for more!

  7. Interesting question and comments made so far, all of which ring true in many ways.

    My thoughts...

    When Sasha said/wrote this, it was a time when children (and adults perhaps) were less likely to be able to have lots of dolls (or toys) although that was beginning to change, so to have that ‘one special’ doll was an ideal and also perhaps a truth – my childhood Panda was my true soul mate and I virtually wore him out as he was my constant companion right through to young adulthood when he really couldn’t be cuddled and talked to in the same way anymore. If he wasn’t thread bare he would still be cuddled every night! He is still with me though. I had a few special dolls as a child – they only came at birthdays and Christmas time and as such they were that much more special and most are still with me.

    Today it is all too easy to end up with far too many both for our children and ourselves and yes I think many can often feel overwhelmed by it. Those special items no longer seem to be left for special occasions for which we used to look forward to with such anticipation, and as such I think when the day arrived, these dolls (and toys) were that much more special because of the wait.

    I think to have that ‘one special doll’ is an ideal that many aspire to, but whether it really is possible I am not so sure. I know I couldn’t reduce to one…although I do gravitate to a very few favourites and it is a question I often ponder myself.

    I could write more on this subject but better stop here for now!


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