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Home> Readers Story - A Beautiful Lady Returns Home

December, 2006

A  Lenci Dolls Collector article--for Lenci doll collectors



Reader's Story: A BEAUTIFUL LADY RETURNS HOME, by Mike Jordan

December 2006

My father George Jordan, was the assistant Editor of the Rome Italy Bureau of the Associated Press from 1935 to July 1941, except for a period from 1936 to 1937 when he was temporarily assigned to cover the Spanish revolution. Sometime between 1935 and 1938, he wrote a story for the Associated Press about the beautiful Christmas decorations in a Lenci store in Italy.

Sometime later, following the death of Enrico Scavini in December 1938, His wife, Madam Lenci presented my Father with a boudoir doll fashioned in the image of Marlene Dietrich. She told my Father that it was a wish her husband had made on his deathbed that my Father should have this doll in gratitude for the story he wrote.

When Hitler marched into Poland in 1939, Mousolini made several ships available to Americans for safe passage to America. The doll traveled to the US with my Mother and me on the ship Conte Savoi, packed in a trunk. My Father remained in Italy until 1941 just before the US entered the war. He flew out on a Pan American Clipper. .. (continued below)


George Jordan meeting Mussolini in the 1930's

1. George Jordan meeting Mussolini in the 1930's - My Father is on the left facing Il Duce who is seen from the rear - (Photo: Mike Jordan Collection)

Lenci lady doll
The Beautiful Lenci Lady , His wife, Madam Lenci presented my father with a boudoir doll fashioned in the image of Marlene Dietrich. (Photo: Mike Jordan)

The doll remained in that trunk until 1954 when she was used as a prop to advertise a play called Trelawney of The Wells at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. where my Father was then the Director of Public Relations. She traveled to California via New City and Minnesota, always remaining in her trunk. After her brief debut at the Playhouse, she returned to my Father’s home in a dress box where she slept again for 41 years. Originally there had been a letter in Italian explaining the doll’s origins which my Father missplaced.

When my father passed away in 1995, the doll in her box went to Virginia and eventually to Florida. Unfortunately, no one in my family was a doll collector and I felt it was a shame to waste such a beautiful creation. She has now returned to the land of her creation not far from where she was made and hopefully to the home of someone who will appreciate her beauty.

Elena Scavini known as "Madame Lenci"  in her studio in the 1930's

4. Elena Scavini known as "Madame Lenci" in her studio in the 1930's (Source: Farago)

Mike Jordan's Lenci Lady doll

3. The orignal model seen in a 1930's Lenci catalog (Lenci SA, Torino 1930's)

The Lenci Lady doll


  • Images 1 and 2, 5 : Mike Jordan private collection.
  • Image 3: Lenci catalog 1930's collection Patrizia Nicotra Martini
  • Image 4: The Magic and Romance of Art Dolls, S. Farago


Mike Jordan 2006
For The Lenci Doll Collector


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