Dec 7, 1920 Lenci Dolls in Printemps Catalog

Catalog page of Lenci Doll Published in Au Printemps, Jouets, Mardi 7 Décembre, 1920

Dominique Pennegues drew my attention to this wonderful catalog page from Au Printemps showing the range of Lenci dolls offered from sale for Winter 1920/21. A notice on the cover of the Au Printemps toy catalog announces that the toys will be on exhibit from Tuesday Dec 7, 1920 for the entire month. Here we see examples of some of the earliest and rarest of Lenci dolls such as the Pierrot, the cowboy, Harelquin, the Salome doll, which was already on the market in 1919,  and the early toddler dolls etc. Notice the prices in French francs, which were roughly equivalent to the US dollar value at the time.

Many thanks to Dominique for this rare record of Lenci dolls from winter 1920-21.

Dominique's website:

A Selection of Lenci Dolls on Etsy

lenci-etsyI just heard about a fine selection of Lenci dolls for sale by Jeff Shumaker in his Etsy Shop(US)
Pictured above is a sample of the current offering - here is a link to his entire selection of Lenci dolls on offer:
Click here for a look at his current selection of Lenci Dolls on Etsy (US)
and here is a link to see all current Lenci items on Etsy:
All Lenci on Etsy (US)

Very Rare 1925 Lenci doll


Rare 1925 Lenci Doll on eBay

This is a rare 1925 Lenci doll Model 350A with forward looking eyes Click Here to see it on eBay. This model was only sold in 1925 and then discontinued making it very rare indeed. The doll came in 2 different versions one with long hair as seen here and one with a bob wearing a hat which can be seen in Continue reading

Rare Early Lenci Dancer “Salomé” on eBay



Lenci doll "Salomé" in Noi & IL Mondo in December 1919 - Noi e il Mondo. Rivista mensile de "La Tribuna"

This is a rare early Lenci doll designed by Elena Scavini that dates to the very early years of the Lenci company of Turin before 1923. She first appeared in an article in the Italian monthly review Noi & IL Mondo  in December 1919  and was referred to as "bellisima Salomé" and later the same doll appeared in an early ad by the Lenci company in Playthings Magazine in Oct 1920 before they had created their first catalog. There are no records of any Lenci catalogs before 1923. The appearance of the Lenci dolls in the 1919 article is significant as it is the possibly one of the earliest published materials of the Lenci company, There is a separate ad by Lenci in the same issue that does not even have a company logo - more about this in a follow up post so stay tuned!


1923 Catalog

I recall that the late Rosita Siccardi,esteemed Lenci expert from Turin, told me that when the Lenci company began in 1919 on a small scale in the first few years they advertised only in publications and trade magazines etc but the first proper sales catalog was not created until 1923 when they had hired new designers such as Dudovitch et al. who were given that task of producing the first complete Lenci catalog.. The 1923 catalog included records of all they dolls that were available up to that date including the early dolls such as this exotic Lenci lady. She appeared in the 1923 catalog in a tableau next to the early "Indian" dolls of the same period.

See this early Lenci dancer doll on eBay

Reference: Noi e il Mondo. Rivista mensile de "La Tribuna" Dec 1919

Rare early Lenci Minstrel and Lady

I am delighted to share with your a rare glimpse of a pair of very rare early Lenci character dolls from the first years of the Lenci company. Leanne from Australia has generously shared photos of her extremely rare Lenci dolls - possibly a prince and princess or a lady and knight or minstrel. The man has an upturned gaze perhaps posed to look upwards towards his lady above on a balcony.ladyandminstrel

Rare Lenci Character Dolls in Medieval Costume

Rare Lenci Character Dolls in Medieval Costume


Previously in an old blog post ( I shared a picture of a similar pair of dolls - but the due to the way the dolls were posed we could not clearly see the outfits  I had attempted to reconstruct the prince's outfit in photoshop but never saw the details on the leggings because they were hidden by a table.  I can now see that they are indeed a match for Leanne's dolls. Finally the mystery is resolved! A big Thank You to Leanne for sharing these great detailed pictures!lencipair

Fernanda Fassy dressed as Lenci doll

Fernanda Fassy, Roma 1895 attrice del cinema muto, vestita come la Circense Lenci del 1926. Italian silent film actress dressed like the circus girl by Lenci 1926,

Fernanda Fassy, Roma 1895 attrice del cinema muto, vestita come la Circense Lenci del 1926. Italian silent film actress dressed like the circus girl by Lenci 1926,

Marcello Dudovitch design for a Lenci doll outfit

Marcello Dudovich design for a Lenci doll outfit


Fernanda Fassy, silent screen actress wearing a Lenci inspired dress as seen in the design by Dudovich for Lenci

Thanks to Patrizia for sharing these great photos on her Facebook page: :

Two Early Lenci Dolls

Author: Clizia Turchi

Two Early Lenci DollsThis is the story of two old dolls manufactured by the Lenci company nearly 100 years ago.
These models are the No.103 and No.102, described in an advertisement of Playthings magazine (October 1920) as dolls of the Scavini company.

The discovery of the two dolls was very special, both because they are very old, and because if there were no illustrations that depict the two characters and the mark on them, one could hardly say that they came from the Lenci factory. Indeed, although with some differences, it could be said that they better resemble some characters of the Steiff company, both in form and in the button for identification..

From the details of the two dolls can see that one has the appearance of a Dutch woman (in the original model she carried two buckets of milk, which are now lost) and the other is a Dutch man.

Early Lenci Dutch Woman

The woman, as seen in the original advertisement, is classified under the number 102 ( Lenci began their numbering from No. 101), she is 16 1/2 inches (42 cm) tall, the typical zigzag of the factory at the back of her head,. She has human hair on her head, and ears at the center of the side seams..
Hands are mitten type with defined fingers and the eyes have a highlight at the upper side of the pupil. The doll wears a sewn on blue jacket, a red and blue skirt, a red scarf, and a white apron, with a sky blue and white striped panel at the top.

Playthings Magazine 1920

Certainly, comparing it with a photo published in the book Cloth Dolls by Polly Judd, ( Hobby House Press, at pg.116) she originally had a Lenci identification button attached to her apron, but now it is there is no more, just a hole remains in it place.
Unfortunately she lost also her clogs, her buckets and her hat.
Early Lenci Dutch ManThe man still has his button on the ear on which is printed the Lenci mark in block letters. He is ranked as number 103, he is 14 inches (cm 36) tall and fatter than the woman. Also the man no longer has his clogs.
Both of the dolls heads rotate at the neck, and they are formed in five pieces.
After analyzing carefully the two dolls, the most curious collector may ask whether these models being so old, could have been painted by Madame Lenci"s own hand, but this we may never know.
But however, I can say with certainly that, as with many stories common to the beginning of last century, these two dolls have traveled a lot. In fact, from Torino (Italy) their journey began by boat to America in the '20s, to return again by airplane to Italy today. Not bad for this pair of almost one hundred years of age, right?Clizia Turchi


Early Lenci Dutch doll
Early Lenci Dutch doll
Early Lenci Dutch doll


Early Lenci Dutch doll
Playthings Magazine Oct 1920
Early Lenci Catalog - Dutch dolls
Early Lenci Catalog showing Dutch Dolls Catalog: Lenci di E Scavini, Private collection
Dolls are from a private collection

-Polly Judd, Cloth Dolls
-Playthings magazine (October 1920)
Catalog: Lenci di E Scavini, Private collection
Photos: © Clizia Turchi All rights reserved

Vintage Photo of Large Lenci Boudoir Doll “Mimi” 1926

Vintage Photo of Large Lenci Boudior doll of 1926

Vintage Photo of Large Lenci Boudoir doll of 1926

This is an old vintage photo of a Large Lenci lady boudoir doll that is very rare and much wanted by collectors. This particular doll is one of the largest sizes made by Lenci and first appeared in the Lenci Catalog of 1926.
Lenci catalog 1926 This doll came posed in her own chair and was named Mimi. Some collectors call her Marlene Dietrich possibly because the pose reminds us of the movie The Blue Angel (1930). However this doll was on the market in 1926 well before the Blue Angel was made and before Marlene Dietrich was well known outside of Germany so this Mimi doll probably represents a singer or character from the stage from the early 1920's and from before 1926 when this doll came on the market.Lenci boudior doll 1926