Ebay member beamdoggie is selling a rare Lenci Bambina on eBay this week. This is a lovely 1930's Lenci Bambina in fine condition and a treat for some Lenci collector for the holidays. It is rare to see a Lenci bambina at auction so just looking at the pictures is a treat. The seller has added a picture from Nancy Lazenby's book Lenci: The History and the Dolls that looks like the same exact doll.
The Candy Spelling Doll Auction results are online now and Lenci collectors will be interested in the closing prices,especially for the rarely seen Lenci characters. The highest price in the Lenci category went to the later model Lenci character Sam that sold for: $19,000. This may well be a record price for this 1940's-50's era remake of the earlier 1925 Sam. This later model Sam is slimmer than the chubby and more child-like earlier Sam of 1925. This model Sam was exhibited in December 1953 at the annual Toy Trade Show in Italy - watch the 1953 archive video clip below or see the entire newsreel at Archivo Luce CLick Here to watch the archive video at archivioluce you can see the 1953 Lenci exhibit at around 0-2-18-20 the on screen counter. Sam is briefly is on the left of the screen at the start of the following clip - see also the screen capture below.
Compare to the earlier 1925 Lenci Sam which is a standing chubbier child-like doll with more rounded eyes, listed as model 260 at 31 inches tall. He did not have a waistcoat and is made of brown felt. The later Sam is made to be seated like a boudoir doll and is of black felt.
Above is a screen capture from the 1953 Trade Show video, the Lenci Sam is seated to the Left of the screen, this video clip is interesting because it shows some of the larger boudoir dolls that were on sale that year - note the lady doll in black the commentator refers to as "Anna Karenina" and the Spanish Lady with Guitar, Large Russian Dolls and Japanese Costume dolls. This newsreel is a brief but rare glimpse of the Lenci dolls on offer in the early 1950's - there is no complete Lenci catalog for the 1940s-50s. If you have Marco Tosa's Book "Bambole Lenci" you can see full color photos of dolls from this era of production. The Lenci Sam on page 155 in the Tosa book has a green Lenci paper tag that was in use during this later period of production - however the date given in the Tosa book refers to the date of the earlier series of 1925.
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
Edith, The Lonely Doll, is a character in the much loved vintage storybooks by Dare Wright that date from the 1950s. The main character is Edith, an early 109 series Lenci Doll of 1924 see b/w picture below from the 1924 Ars Novita Catalog, that was a childhood doll of Dare Wright's, one of two Lenci dolls she had kept since her childhood. Her other Lenci was a boudoir doll. Continue reading
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