What I would do for a Lenci
Actually, I have no idea what I would do for a Lenci doll, probably not too much. But I would love to see some of these in person. Perhaps hold them and try to discern how they were created. Marvel at the intricacy and attention to detail. These dolls are just so lovely.
I think the one in orange is my current favorite. These images are from a 1990 copy of "Dolls: The Collectors Magazine" that I have had since probably sometime around 1990. The Lenci dolls have been a constant source of inspiration and fascination
since I first saw them, and I have carried the magazine around in my stash of sewing books for years. Every now and again I come across it and examine the photographs again, hoping for some clue as to how they can look so lifelike and full of attitude.
This one was my favorite as a child, if I remember correctly. She is so bad-ass.
Apparently they think that several of these dolls were modeled after glamorous film actresses such as Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow, and Lillian Gish. Most Lenci dolls that I have found online are much more childlike than these. Perhaps the children's versions were more common? I don't know, and other than in the magazine - which actually has avery interesting if not overly informative article - most of what I have found written about Lenci dolls and their history is so poorly written it hurts my brain. Oh well.
I just got the magazine out again last night because it occurred to me that with needle felting, I could actually achieve something similar to the Lenci ladies. I have a long way to go, but the soft scultpural quality that I admire is definitely a quality achievable with needle felting. It is very exciting.
The costumes on these last ones are so incredible. This is what I am striving for. Someday.
Photos from Dolls: The Collectors Magazine, May 1990