Tips for Selling your Lenci Dolls
If you are a doll collector or have found or received an old Lenci doll and wish to sell it, the process can be as simple as taking a few pictures of it and listing it on eBay for a low starting price and then sit back and wait for the bids. Assuming it is a real vintage Lenci doll made by Lenci of Turin, especially from before WW2 or best of all from the most desirable era in the 1920's to early 30's, your doll will receive interest from collectors of Lenci dolls.
If you have studied the reference books and pictures of genuine Lenci dolls and you are pretty certain your doll matches the facial type and painting style of genuine Lenci dolls then you can list it as a Lenci doll. On the other hand, if you are not sure your doll is a genuine Lenci you can call it a "Lenci type" doll. In the 1920's and 30's there were numerous cloth doll makers producing similar dolls, and even blatantly copying them.
Now those lenci type dolls are collectible in their own right,
names like Raynal, Magis, Norah Wellings, Margot, and others come to mind, and a good near mint condition "lenci type" doll is very collectible.
- If your doll is near mint condition Lenci doll, do not remove the clothes to look for identification marks or tags, doing so can cause damage to frail fabrics and the original way the clothes were arranged on the doll, so you can actually make your doll less valuable simply because a potential buyer asked to see a picture of the doll unclothed.
The tag on a genuine lenci doll is a fabric or paper tag stitched to the clothing either on the outsite or just inside the hem of the garment.
On regional costume dolls there is usually also a paper label with the name of the region hand written on it..
- Carefully look for identification tags stitched to the clothes or underclothes. if the doll is old and the fabrics are delicate be very careful, old fabrics like cotton and silk can disintegrate easily.
- If you have located the tag, thats all you need, take a picture of it and add it to your listing- no need to search for any other marks.
- Some - not all - lenci dolls have a Lenci stamp on the sole of the foot. If there is no tag then you can carefully remove the shoe and sock to look for a mark on the sole of the foot. But again, if the doll is near mint condition and you are pretty sure your doll is a Lenci, dont even do this to avoid unnecessary damage
- Presentation is important, so have clear pictures, a closeup of the face, and full length view, and pictures of any defects.
- Mention the height of the doll, if the doll is wearing a hat,do not include the height of the hat, or else mention that the height includes the hat.
- If your doll is damaged or less than ideal condition, dont be tempted to "fix" it or repair it unless you are an expert in this area. Even so, most repairs to cloth dolls reduce the value to serious collectors, who prefer to have an "untouched", "as found" or "unplayed with" doll.
- If you made any changes or repairs to the doll describe them in your listing.
- If you know the outfit is not original or you added the clothes then state this also.
- Doll valuation is a matter of studying auction closing prices to see the current trend, much like the stock market. Look for similar dolls on eBay and other auction sites to study the starting prices and closing prices and study the successful listings for ideas for starting prices and listing types and to get an idea of the current values.
In general the value of a vintage or antique doll depends on what the market will pay for it - or what it would cost you to replace it - book value refers to mint, or near mint condition dolls.
The condition and rarity of the doll plays a large part.
Rare dolls are more difficult to evaluate because we don't see them on sale very often.The key point here is that value change according to demand - the way I estimate value is by looking at what buyers are paying - you can do this yourself by looking at recent closing prices on ebay
- Timing your sale to coincide with general buying trends may help. Some sellers of a special doll will wait until the last quarter of the year to take advantage of the holiday spending spree.
...Read about Lenci Ceramics
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