CLOTH AND LENCI

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19” cloth doll with stockinet covering known to the doll collecting world as a “ Black Beecher-Type” as it is made in a similar manner to the “ Beecher Babies “ manufactured around the turn of the Twentieth Century in upstate New York but there is no evidence that Julia Jones Beecher of Elmira NY ever directly made or sold the more elongated black children of which this doll is well exemplified. Regardless of the ambiguity/uncertainty of exact source of manufacture these dolls are highly regarded in their own right and stand alongside both in terms of respect and approximated price range of the “ Missionary Rag Babies “ of Mrs. Beecher. As is typical, this doll has a stockinet covering over the molded head and facial features, a tight wooly caracul wig as part of the doll, and black pupiless eyes backed by a white celluloid-type material. Lips and nostrils are painted bright red , hands are “ mitten-style “, and there are sewn joints at shoulders ,hips, and knees. This doll is dressed as a “country boy “with plaid cotton shirt, plaid linen trousers, a red neckerchief, and a multicolored woven straw hat. Although he does have some anticipated age wear, he is still in relatively overall good condition compared to most and priced accordingly to reflect his actual physical status. Those in excellent to near mint condition usually sell for at least 30-40% higher…………….US$ 1,650. 

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Very nice and somewhat unusual 18” ( 46cm ) so-called “ Alabama Baby “ by Ella Smith, with dark brown, relatively short, hair painted just over the tops of the ears and simulating a popular “ bowl-cut “ hairstyle with short bangs and no parting of the hair on either side nor down the center of the head. He/She has brown painted eyes, log upper and lower lashes, an almost heart-shaped full red mouth and highly rouged cheeks. The hands have sewn delineator stitches with thumbs sewn separately. There are sewn joints at shoulders and hips and unlike most of the Alabama Babies found has bare feet whereas the majority have painted boots. On the torso there remains a faint stamp reading “ THE ELLA SMITH DOLL ALABAMA BABY ROANOKE ALABAMA “. As this child is wearing a period one piece plaid cotton romper suit with low drop waist matching belt, one might assume this is meant to be a boy but the hairstyle is so gender neutral that depending on the costuming it could be “ either/or “. Overall condition very good with some typical paint craze marks and minor rubs on painted surfaces but better than most with no obvious signs of repair or restoration……..US$ 1.100. 

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 Extremely nice and early in production ( late 1920s-early 1930s ) of this 12 ½” ( 31cm ) Lenci child of the Art Deco -period in felt costume with geometric design pattern on bottom of knee-length jacket, cloche hat with felt ribbon tied into a bow in front, pink felt short dress underneath the coat, knit white socks, and blue felt shoes that match the rest of clothing. She has brown painted side-glancing eyes, long upper eye lashes, full upper lip, and dark blond/light beige mohair wig. Overall condition is very good with only minimal typical fading of colors and slight surface dust. A similar doll is pictured in the Coleman book on the history of the Lenci firm, one of the earliest and most revelatory of its time when little was known in the Western Hemisphere as of time of publication regarding this most important and innovative of doll makers!……………………………………..US$ 875. 

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 Loveable and beautifully made Italian pressed felt “ Lenci-type “ child, circa early 1930s, 10 ½” tall ( 27cm ), 11” ( 28cm ) to top of hat, with painted facial features and side-glancing eyes, wearing curly blond mohair wig, two layer organdy dress with appliqued felt flowers and adornments, matching pink felt shoes and wide brim bonnet with felt ribbon extending and tied under the chin. Head swivels and limbs jointed at shoulders and hips. Considering age and type doll is in extremely good condition with very little fading or typical surface dust. As nice as a genuine Lenci but about half the price!…………US$ 325. 

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 Sweet 16” ( 41cm ) painted and molded cloth doll by Martha Chase of Pawtucket RI with blond painted three dimensional hair, blue eyes with wispy upper lashes , smiling mouth, three dimensional molded ears with head and torso being one solid unit with sateen covered torso and lower arms and legs with bare feet having sewn joints at elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees. Paint is totally original and in very good condition considering age and material with just a bit of paint wear on tip of the nose. The one- piece long white cotton and lace trimmed dress is probably original and at least of the period. He/she also has a cotton undergarment covering the torso and white knit socks that arise to knee level………………US$ 375. 

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Charming 20”( 51cm ) brown eyed Martha Chase child with softly painted and modeled facial features with applied ears, original facial and extremity painted with original finish in over all very good patina with minimal age wear other than on a few fingers and a speck of red on the upper lip. The stuffed cloth body is covered with the original sateen-like fabric and the clothing consists of pastel colored pleated silky-cotton knee length dress with some brown feather stitching at waist, shoulders, and on skirt. She has pink cotton underpants with braided lacy trim at knees, white cotton knee-length stockings, and old white canvas shoes (soles missing). Painted yellowy-brown hair has raised “brush mark-like” characteristics and a raised seam starting and ending in back about 1/3rd of the way around back of the head in both directions. A sweet doll and depending upon the clothing could represent a girl, a boy, or a baby…………………….US$ 395. 

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