A very large and rare vintage Lenci doll from Snowdrift Antiques.
This young lady is a large Lenci doll at 38" in height. Attempts to identify her precisely have been difficult. The combination of not having the classic boudoir doll features and her height indicates she may be a Series 700 or what is known as a "large boudoir" doll. When it comes to the these types of dolls, the Lenci catalogs are a bit confusing and inconsistent. She does not appear in any Lenci catalog we have seen and she hasn't turned up in any of our online searches. Even her paper Lenci label is confounding as the handwriting in pencil, which typically indicates the model number, is illegible in image 15.
She has Spanish or Italian features. Her jet black hair is pulled into a braid in back and drapes over her left shoulder. Her hair has some thin areas on top and in back and the braid is slightly mussed. Her eyebrows and eyes may have been outlined in a darker color by a previous owner, but, a darker eyeliner and eyebrows is a common trait of boudoir dolls, so I'm unsure if her features have been augmented.
She has left side glancing brown eyes with the classic Lenci highlight dot. There is a small 3⁄8" long vertical cut on the outer edge of the left eyebrow, image 3. She also has a small rub on her left cheek, image 8 & 13. Her face and body have age discoloration and there is a bit of pilling or roughness to the felt. She has numerous small dark spots on her lower torso and upper legs and one larger dark area on her right hip, images 10 and 13.
Her arms are shaped to hold an object, most likely a guitar which is long gone. In fact, there are string remnants on both hands to show an object was once tethered to them.
She wears a very colorful outfit consisting of a long yellow organdy skirt with red applique leaves and pink, orange and black poppy flowers. There is a double ruffle at the hem of the skirt. At some point, a previous owner mended several tears in the skirt and there are a few smaller ones that were not mended and remain open. With the texture of the dress these are difficult to photograph, image 11. The skirt appears to be Lenci made, with the typical very short machine stitches and pique edging. As with the rest of her, her blouse adds another layer to the mystery.
The bodice portion looks to be the same yellow organdy as the skirt and has the hallmarks of the Lenci seamstresses with very short machine stitches. However, the sleeves and pelump may be replacements made long ago as the yellow of the organdy is a slight shade off from the bodice and skirt and there is a lot of hand-stitching present.
She has her original Lenci white organdy teddy, pantaloons with a double ruffle hem and underskirt with a single ruffle at the hem. Having never seen this doll before and not being able to find a similar one in online searches or Lenci catalogs, I cannot say for sure that the outfit is entirely original Lenci. Her off-white knit socks and black leather Mary Janes are typical of Lenci and match ones on some of my other large Lenci dolls so I feel confident in saying they are original. The shoes have a small heel. Typically with Lenci leather shoes, over the years they have shrunken and now appear too small for her feet. A short black elastic loop was added to lengthen the strap so it would reach the button. The leather has some wear, especially at the toes and one shoe has a split in the back seam, image 10.
This is a beautiful and obviously very rare Lenci doll. She is in good vintage condition for her age.
If you have questions please contact me and I can provide more images or detail by email.
I will cover the cost of her shipping to the States. She is from a smoke free home.
Lenci Spanish 38 inch Boudoir Italian Felt Lenci Doll, 1930 Scavini Lenci Spanish Boudoir Doll
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