Collecting Articles and Features

Bucherer Dolls – Swiss innovation and invention in Doll design

Please share on your social media

bucherer dolls
Whilst reporting on a toy auction I came across a collection of unique jointed metal dolls from the A. Bucherer and Cie Company of Amriswil, Switzerland. The dolls ranged from popular characters from the 1920s including Charlie Chaplin and Mutt & Jeff to farm ladies and a pilot.

bucherer dolls patented jointed pose examples
Bucherer, Amriswil, 1921-1930, made dolls with a patented metal ball-jointed body and having changeable heads

On checking my reference library I was only able to find one reference to A Bucherer dolls in Dawn Herlocher’s 200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide and even internet search did not reveal much more information of these inventive dolls except an excellent feature by Sherry Minton on AntiqueTrader. Luckily a number have made their way for sale and to the auction market enabling us examine the dolls in more detail.

‘Bucherer, Amriswil, 1921-1930, made dolls with a patented metal ball-jointed body. Advertised as having changeable heads, the dolls represented comic characters and celebrities such as everyday civilians such as chauffeurs, policemen and firemen. Many were dressed in regional costumes with outfits sewn directly onto the doll.’ 200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide by Dawn Herlocher

The A. Bucherer and Cie Company produced dolls from 1921 to 1930. Swiss innovation and invention in the early 20th Century made the country a world leader in clocks and watch technology, and music boxes among others. It seems that knowledge and technology moved into the creation of finely articulated dolls. The dolls had changeable heads which were made of plaster composite material as were the hands and feet. Head features such as hats were also moulded see the Bucherer Policeman and Bucherer Coldstream Guard as examples.

The dolls measured between 6 to 10 inches high and were marketed under the name SABA an acronym for Speilwarenfabrik (toy factory) August (first name of Burcherer) Burcherer Amriswil (location of factory). Many of the dolls were made for particular markets especially America where the celebrities and comic characters were popular, and according to records two-thirds of the dolls produced found their way to US market.

Bucherer Farm Ladies
Pair of Bucherer Farm Ladies metal jointed figures, Swiss 1920s, both with moulded painted heads, hands and shoes, ball jointed articulated metal bodies, wearing felt and cotton clothing, 7 ½” (19cm) tall. Sold for £220, Nov 2016 at C & T Auctioneers.

Bucherer Reference
200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide (200 Years of Dolls: Identification & Price Guide)
Speaking of Dolls: Metal in their bodies shows invention and innovation in the world of dolls by Sherry Minton

Please share on your social media