Auction of The Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon Los Angeles 24 Jun 2013

The Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon

The Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon

The Auction of The Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon will take place in Los Angeles on 24 Jun 2013

This auction at Bonhams promises to be of interest to collectors of early Lenci dolls from the 1920s and 1930s. With fine examples of Lenci Boudoir Lady dolls, character dolls and child dolls.
A note of caution to serious collectors:  I just noticed lot 5025  titled  "A Lenci felt boy doll" is actually not a Lenci doll. It looks like a French Raynal doll  also I see he is  wearing an added genuine Lenci doll coat over his original outfit. The book Lenci Dolls: Dorothy Coleman also mistakenly identified this same model doll as a Lenci. Additionally, the Skiier doll (lot 5355)  to the right of the picture above is another French made felt doll  that is also misidentified as a Lenci.


Preview Dates at Bonhams LA
  • 21 Jun 2013 10:00 - 17:00
  • 22 Jun 2013 10:00 - 17:00
  • 23 Jun 2013 10:00 - 17:00

Very Early Lenci Toddler Doll

Early Lenci Fat Face Toddler Doll

This is a vintage photo I saw on Etsy today. This is the earliest version of the108 Series  Fat Face Lenci dolls. These 15 inch fat baby dolls were made from 1919-21 and were seen in the early ads and the 108 series doll appeared in very first Lenci catalog of 1923 which included examples of the dolls and characters Lenci was selling up to that time.

Lenci ad  Playthings1921

Lenci ad Playthings1921

The Lenci ad above is from the american toy trade Playthings magazine 1921, showing a selection of Lenci dolls for promotion on the American market that year. There are two of the early chubby baby dolls on the top row.

The article page above shows a goup of the early fat face Lenci babies from the Farago collection. The doll on the right looks like the exact same doll from the black and white photo on etsy.These early fat babies are now very rare and are rarely seen at auction or on eBay. See below a rare picture from the 1923 catalog of one of the 108 series fat face toddlers -  notice the doll from the catalog that has separate fingers in contrast to earlier 108 series dolls in the photos above that have joined fingers.

LENCI lead button

LENCI lead button

The early Lenci dolls made before 1923 often have human hair and many have a metal(lead) round button tag on the body or clothing similar to the Steiff button, with the word "LENCI" in capital letters on it. These early dolls can be difficult to identify. They have coarser features than the later dolls as the process was not refined yet and they were likely molded by Lenci herself.

1923 lenci catalog fat baby

1923 Lenci catalog 108 C Fat Face Toddler 15"

From about 1923 when the dolls were increasing in popularity, Lenci hired artists and one of them was assigned the task of creating the 1923 catalog which was to showcase all the types of characters and dolls they were producing going back to the early dolls like the 15 inch 108  Series Fat baby from the 1923 catalog pictured above  as well as the new dolls for 1923. With new artistic input and synergy there was a rapid development of production with culminated in the beautifully refined child and lady dolls produced from the mid 20's to the early 30's.

1920 Lenci Ad

I am looking for  more picture  to share on the website so if you know of any please let me know. Continue reading

159 Series Lenci doll of 1924

This 159 Series Lenci doll was made in 1924, she reminds me of little Shirley Temple, who was not even born yet at the time this doll was created. In the slide show above you can see an original black and white Lenci factory photo of the prototype model that was used for registration purposes. In the factory photo you will notice white dots one on each cheek and one at the tip of the nose. These white dots are highlights that have all but faded in the doll in the present day color photo of the same model doll - click on picture above to change the image. This type of highlight was widely used in the early dolls made up to 1925, if you have an early Lenci doll you might be able to detect a trace of the original highlight marks - the first time I saw white mark like this on a Lenci doll I thought it was a blemish or a faded spot, but seeing the original factory pictures has cleared it up. These highlights create a sense of depth and contour when seen from a distance. Continue reading