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. "

Reply:

The interesting thing about the series number of this mascotte is that her series number refers to a series 350 that were  Lenci Mascottes issued in 1949 - this doll is the first of the series. But there was also a 350 series of larger dolls that were offered only 1925 and in 1929 - the catalog Heather refers to above is the 1929 Lenci catalog - this is the first case I have seen where series numbers were duplicated. The earlier 350 series were larger child dolls, not mascottes, and were discontinued after 1929 so they are rare.

This later 350 series of 1949 are mascottes - they have a silver tag which was in use from the mid/late 1930's onwards. The lips are painted with a slightly heart shaped curve in the top lip in the 1940's fashion of the day. Her hair is mohair, and this doll  has a roll of hair above her forehead in the fashion of the 1940's. The late Rosita Siccardi, the Lenci expert, once told me that in the post war period the Lenci production relied on blank unpainted face molds remaining from prewar stock to make many of the dolls. The post war workers painted the faces and assembled the dolls and this continued until stocks ran out. The post war painting style is in a different style from the earlier dolls but the face mold is the same. Also many of the post war outfits are more cloth than felt because of scarcity or cost. Heather's  doll is a very nice example of these Mascottes and the first of the series for 1949. Heather tells me she is putting her Lenci Mascotte doll up for auction on eBay today (search ebay for item no 220899027293 ) so this is an opportunity for collectors.

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