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Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
entrance to the UPM’s Permanent Collection

Doll, 1920–25
Lenci company (?), Enrico Scavini, Italy
Pressed-felt body, painted face, movable limbs
UPM, inv. no. 89.281

Doll, c. 1930
Bohemia or Germany (?)
Pressed-felt body
UPM, inv. no. 94.668

Dolls are among the oldest types of toys, and from the collector’s view, they represent rich and manifold material. Apart from the better-known types of china busts, wooden dolls with
jointed limbs and celluloid Kewpies, there is a gamut of cloth dolls (leather, fabric, stuffed).

The Lenci company manufactured pressed-felt dolls from 1918. In 1922, Enrico Scavini registered the trademark ‘Lenci’ as an acronym from the Latin motto Ludus Est Nobis Constanter Industria (Play is our constant work). The first dolls were produced in the family factory mechanically, using hot-steam pressing. Then the faces were hand-painted and the dolls were dressed in characteristic red-and-white checkered clothes. Lenci dolls are so-called character types with facial expressions. They have movable limbs with stitching to indicate fingers and are fully dressed, including shoes. Visible seams are distinctive of Lenci dolls; one noteworthy type has a centre seam down the face. After extending trade to the United States, the company began collaborating with artists and designers. Aside from dolls, they designed their outfits which, in some cases, followed the latest fashion. Throughout the firm’s long existence, its output was expanded to include the production of heads for composition dolls, wooden dolls and ceramic figurines.
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Dolls (1920—1930)
UPM, inv. no. 89.281 / UPM, inv. no. 94.668
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