|Mimi by Lenci, 1997|
|Carmen by Lenci, 1995|
If you've been following my blog, you know I haven't written anything since the homestager came and we painted our entire house. We also cleaned out our garage, moved a ton of stuff into storage, traveled out of state to consult our son's surgical team, and had lots of showings. One rather inconvenient one on Wednesday, when I had scheduled my eBay auctions to end Tuesday thinking it would be slow during the week,. So I was cleaning like mad, driving around with all our pets and kids in the car to keep the house clear, mailing packages, one to Australia so it required a trip to the post office...and then the people chose a different house. AGH! Hopefully the house will sell soon, because besides all that I've had to clean like crazy!
One basic tenant of the homestager's manifesto is no collections, with a specific ban on DOLL collections! If her accent hadn't already told me the woman wasn't Southern, that would have! Growing up here, I can't think of one friend whose mother didn't have a doll collection. This was typically displayed in the best, usually the front, room along with the family Bible. One mother did keep her dolls in their boxes in the linen closet but she was the exception. Old-fashioned jointed bears were in back then too, and one neighbor had her fireplace so filled with them I guess they must never have lit a fire! So I started collecting dolls when I was around 12 and continued until I lost interest in my late teens.
I do still love dolls, and occasionally I buy them to resell. This is occasionally pretty hard for me, as it is in the case of these two Lenci dolls. The Lenci doll company was famous for their stunningly beautiful, exquisitely detailed pressed felt dolls. I have started trying to make Lenci-style dolls and bought these to study them in person. These dolls were also made in years that were special to me, then years when I worked in Italy and got married. But given our current situation, with so little room in our home and so far no offers despite all our showings, I think it's time to let go of them. I did do a slight amount of restoration on Mimi, as I glued the dislodged feather and comb back on her hat.
These dolls are infinitely poseable and photogenic, just like the famous Lenci doll, Edith, from the Lonely Doll books. They are so much fun to take pictures of and would probably be as durable and playable for children as they were back in the 1920s. Madame Lenci did design her first dolls after being unable to find an unbreakable doll for her own daughter, Anili. I hope someday to make dolls just as wonderful as these.