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August, 2006

A  Lenci Dolls Collector article--for Lenci doll collectors

Celebrity Favorites: Claire Windsor's Lenci dolls

Patricia Hayes
For The Lenci Doll Collector

Claire Windsor personified the sophisticated society girl in many of her movie roles. From the 1920's, she can been seen in movie roles that enhance this image, from wealthy socialite, to princess. Claire Windsor was also known for her style, she frequently featured in the popular magazines of the day. Known for her fashion sense, she quickly became a 1920's trendsetter. Needless to say, when Lenci dolls were all the rage, she simply had to have them! In this article we are going to take a look at some of the beautiful Lenci dolls Claire Windsor proudly displayed in her own doll collection.

An article from a 1926 magazine featured a story on Claire Windsor, with a picture of Claire displaying her collection of dolls. Boudoir or bed dolls - sometimes known as "Flapper dolls", or "French dolls" - were all the rage with fashionable ladies in the 1920's and Claire Windsor had several boudoir dolls, including some wonderful Lenci dolls which can be seen displayed on her bed in the magazine picture, shown in image 2 below.



1. Claire Windsor

Claire windsor and  lenci dolls

2. Claire Windsor's doll Collection (Photo:Mid-Week Pictorial, 1926)

 At the time this picture was taken in 1926, Lenci dolls had been already been available in the Unites States for a number of years. Lenci ads appeared in Playthings magazine as early as Oct 1920. Lenci dolls were expensive but highly sought after, and imitated by other manufacturers. On closer look at the dolls on display in Claire Windsor's boudior, we see boudoir dolls of various makes, among which are some fine examples of from the Lenci company of Turin, including a Lenci Pierrot and Pierrette couple, based on legendary characters made famous by the Italian Commedia dell'Arte. Also seen is a very popular lady doll which featured prominently in the early Lenci ads and also seen on the covers of some of the early Lenci catalogs. There is another long legged Lenci character doll to the right hand side of the photo, and held in Claire's hand, a Lenci child doll wearing a large hair ribbon, which was typical of many of the early Lenci child models.

The caption under this photo from a 1926 Magazine reads: "A DEVOTEE OF DOLLS: CLAIRE WINDSOR Has Never Lost Her Childhood Love of Them and Her Greatest Pride Is in Her Large Collection, Which She Is Trying to Make the Most Complete in the World"



3. Lenci dolls Ad in 1923 Playthings shows a Lenci lady doll with a smaller child doll. (Photo: Playthings 1923)

4. Lenci lady doll 1920's: Claire Windsor had a similar doll, seen to the left on the bed in Image 2 and in the ad in Image 3. (Private collection ) 


Lenci Child doll

5. Claire Windsor holding a Lenci Child doll (Pricate collection)

Lenci Child doll

6.Early Lenci Child doll, also seen in the Ad next to the taller doll in image 3 above. Claire is holding a similar doll in her hands. (Photo:Playthings 1923 )

7. This Lenci Pierette from the Farago collection is the same model seen in the Claire Windsor collection above. (The Magic and Romance of Art dolls, Farago)
8. Lenci Pierrot , a companion model to the Pierette, seen next to the Pierette in Image 2 (Private collection)  

Rosita Siccardi tells me that original examples of the Lenci Pierrot and Pierrette, can be seen at Museo del Giocattolo in Milan, web link:


9. Lenci doll 1924 (Private Collection)

Lenci model 125-L, 1924
7. Long legged Lenci doll, seen to the far right in Image 2 (Ars Lenci Catalog 1924)

. Lenci Pierrot dolls were popular in the 1920's

Rocca Boromeo
2. Lenci Pierrot and Lady doll at Museo della bambola, ROCCA di ANGERA( (Photo: Patrizia Nicotra Martini)

13. Original Lenci Catalog Picture. (Private collection)


14. Lenci child doll (Private collection)



Patricia Hayes
For The Lenci Doll Collector

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