The Candy Spelling Doll Auction results are online now and Lenci collectors will be interested in the closing prices,especially for the rarely seen Lenci characters. The highest price in the Lenci category went to the later model Lenci character Sam that sold for: $19,000. This may well be a record price for this 1940's-50's era remake of the earlier 1925 Sam. This later model Sam is slimmer than the chubby and more child-like earlier Sam of 1925. This model Sam was exhibited in December 1953 at the annual Toy Trade Show in Italy - watch the 1953 archive video clip below or see the entire newsreel at Archivo Luce CLick Here to watch the archive video at archivioluce you can see the 1953 Lenci exhibit at around 0-2-18-20 the on screen counter. Sam is briefly is on the left of the screen at the start of the following clip - see also the screen capture below.
Lenci Sam Original 1925 Lenci Catalog
Compare to the earlier 1925 Lenci Sam which is a standing chubbier child-like doll with more rounded eyes, listed as model 260 at 31 inches tall. He did not have a waistcoat and is made of brown felt. The later Sam is made to be seated like a boudoir doll and is of black felt.
Screen Capture Lenci Toy Trade Show 1953 - Sam is seated on the left
Above is a screen capture from the 1953 Trade Show video, the Lenci Sam is seated to the Left of the screen, this video clip is interesting because it shows some of the larger boudoir dolls that were on sale that year - note the lady doll in black the commentator refers to as "Anna Karenina" and the Spanish Lady with Guitar, Large Russian Dolls and Japanese Costume dolls. This newsreel is a brief but rare glimpse of the Lenci dolls on offer in the early 1950's - there is no complete Lenci catalog for the 1940s-50s. If you have Marco Tosa's Book "Bambole Lenci" you can see full color photos of dolls from this era of production. The Lenci Sam on page 155 in the Tosa book has a green Lenci paper tag that was in use during this later period of production - however the date given in the Tosa book refers to the date of the earlier series of 1925.
Below are the Proxibid auction results of the entire selection of Lenci dolls from the recent Candy Spelling Collection auction - the Lenci Sam black boudior doll fetched $19,000 and the Lenci Josephine Baker went for $11,000. this is nowhere near the high prices of some of bisque dolls that were sold but these are high prices for Lenci dolls nevertheless. If you are a collector who buys or sells on eBay the prices for the dolls below is relevant in terms of current market pricing for the rare character dolls and the near mint condition Lenci dolls. If you missed the online auction, you may even get a chance to see some of these dolls again. In the days or weeks following a major auction it is not uncommon to find some of the same dolls listed on eBay for resale. So take note of the prices and bookmark this page for your reference. Scroll down for the details Continue reading →
Heather sent in this picture of her Lenci mascotte of 1949. Heather writes " I have had this Lenci doll for at least 35 years in a box. My mother owned it before me. She received it as a gift from a very well off family. I have looked through all of the Lenci catalogs online and have not been able to find this doll anywhere. She is in mint condition. Her paper tag is from Torino; on the back handwritten it says 350/1. So she's a 350 series, but she looks so much more primitive than the 350's in the catalog. A majority of the 350's in the catalog are followed by a letter rather than a number. She has a solid body, her face is one piece of felt, she has sewn on ears and human hair. " Continue reading →
Judy sent in pictures of her rare Lenci Felt wall hangings, these spectacular examples of Lenci patchwork wall art are sized 30 1/2" wide by 42" tall and may have been intended for store displays.
The Lenci company began initally making dolls in 1919, they sourced local high quality fine felt from the Borsalino felt manufacturers, soon they began to diversify into making felt decor items such as these colorful wall hangings, and decor items, and wooden furniture for children, and a range of clothing, by the mid to late 1920's before the depression years they had a delightful range of decor items to decorate a child's bedroom or playroom.
Judy's grandmother brought the wall hangings back from Italy sometime before the 1950's. The Lenci wall hangings have a paper Lenci tag similar to the tags that were used in the pre-war products. The style of dress in the pictures is from the earlier era of the 20's and 30s, it is not certain whether these were vintage stock from the 1920's or 30's at the time her grandmother bought them but they are evocative of the early Lenci period. The english words on the wall hangings suggest they were made for export and the wording "For Parties","for School" "Birthday Gifts" suggests that these were intended for shop displays, or store window dressings. We do know that Lenci made wall hangings from the early years and that felt became scarce during the war years. Some of the early Lenci ads in trade magazines of the 1920's mentioned that they provided displays for shop windows and promotions. The "Christmas Morning" version features a little boy looking over the foot of his bed to see what Santa has brought. One of the items is a Lenci childs coat seen just below the toy horse, this coat is in the style of the Lenci child coats that were made in the 1920's.
Thanks to Judy for sharing these fine examples of Lenci artistry
Judy may be contacted at greenangel2261 @ gmail.com
The above picture is features a shabby old 109 series Lenci doll given a makeover to look like Edith from the Lonely doll books. Her sweater was made from an old ribbed sweater I cut up in 4 parts to make to body and sleeves. The hat I knitted using a photo from the book Edith and the duckling
as a reference. You can buy the pattern for the hat at http://lenci-dolls.com/knit_hat.html or click on the picture above to buy the pattern and download it now.
Edith, The Lonely Doll, is a character in the much loved vintage storybooks by Dare Wright that date from the 1950s. The main character is Edith, an early 109 series Lenci Doll of 1924 see b/w picture below from the 1924 Ars Novita Catalog, that was a childhood doll of Dare Wright's, one of two Lenci dolls she had kept since her childhood. Her other Lenci was a boudoir doll. Continue reading →
Jessica sent in a question about her vintage costume doll asking whether it is a Lenci.
Jessica's photos are over exposed so its difficult to see the details but it is still apparent that this doll is not by Lenci. Although Lenci did make small costume dolls from hard plastic in the 50's and 60's those Lenci costume dolls did not have felt hands. Continue reading →
How do I tell the difference between new and old lenci dolls? This is a question I get asked occasionally
- if you are new to Lenci doll collecting this can be a confusing issue.
The Lenci dolls made during the 80's and 90's up until the Lenci factory closed in the early 2000's can be considered the "new" Lenci dolls. These Lenci dolls were made during the boom in doll collecting that occurred at the time. Continue reading →
Lenci collectors are in for a treat. The Candy Spelling doll collection is going under the hammer in a couple of weeks time. Just looking at the pictures on the Proxibid web site, of some of the rarely seen dolls from the Candy Spelling collection is a rare chance to view examples of Lenci dolls that any avid Lenci collector would drool over.
There is a fine Josephine Baker of 1926 and the pouty 300 series Lenci skater, Lenci boudoir dolls and more - a real treat for the eyes and a chance for some lucky winning bidders to take home some prize examples of Lenci dolls from the most desirable years of production. Continue reading →