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Festish Dolls

August 4, 2013
By Terry Kovel , The Post-Journal

Lenci is a famous name among doll collectors. Lenci dolls were first made by Elena Konig Scavini (1886-1974). She ran away from home when she was 14 and joined a circus. A few years later, she started making dolls. In the early 1900s, she married Enrico Scavini, and by 1919 she had established the Scavini company to make dolls. By 1922 the company was listed as Lenci di E. Scavini. "Lenci" may have been a pet name for Elena. Her felt dolls were carefully made, with pouty mouths, googly eyes and elaborate felt costumes. They were expensive. The single word "Lenci" was used as a trademark as early as 1925. The company later had financial trouble and was sold in 1939. It closed in 2002. Lenci dolls are very popular with collectors, but few know about the company's line of "fetish dolls." They were shaped like vegetables or flowers or imaginary creatures. Fetish dolls were introduced in 1926. A later group was made in the 1960s. One rare fetish doll is a grasshopper wearing a top hat. A collector paid $336 for it at an important Theriault's doll auction in November 2012.



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