Lenci Dolls of 1936 old catalog pages

1936 Lenci dolls fedora (2) fedora (1) 1936dollssource  Archivio storico del Comune di Torino
Seen above is the cover of the 1936 Lenci catalog and  some pages showing the dolls of that year, the new surface washable baby dolls were featured, one model is called "Pupo". These were the depression years and by 1936 the Lenci company had been bought out by the Garella brothers who kept Madame Lenci on as artistic director until she retired,after which she helped her daughter Anili launch her own felt doll manufacturing company.

Lenci doll in 1920s Store Window

Lenci doll in shop window 1920s

This little girl is looking at a shop window full of dolls. the doll that caught her eye seems to be looking right back at her. In the center front is a 22 inch 109 series Lenci doll in a plaid felt dress that first appeared in the Lenci catalog in 1927 as model 109/48 so this dates the photo to the mid to late 1920's to early 1930s

Actually there is another lenci doll in the picture - can you spot it? Is is only partly visible to the right of the picture, it appears to be a Lenci 300 series or a Grugnetto boy doll carrying a cane.

Lenci series 109/48

Lenci series 109/48

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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

350 Series Lenci Mascotte of 1949

Lenci Mascotte 1949

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

How to tell the difference between new and old Lenci dolls

Lenci Doll Googly Remake

Lenci Doll Googly "Autunno" Remake source: Lenci Fallimento

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