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.
Rare Lenci Character Dolls in Medieval Costume
Previously in an old blog post ( http://lenci-dolls.com/082007.html) 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!
Early1920's Lenci Toddler
I colorized the vintage photo from the previous post about the early Lenci toddler
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
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
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 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.
I am looking for more picture to share on the website so if you know of any please let me know. Continue reading