Rare One-of-a-kind Lenci Marionette * Colombina * Boudoir Doll 26" * Amazing * For Sale
* * * “COLOMBINA”* * *
EXTREMELY RARE LENCI MARIONETTE
EARLY BOUDOIR LADY
* ** FREE SHIPPING is only offered for sales within the United States
IMPORTANT NOTE: This sale is for a museum-quality, extremely rare early character Lenci boudoir doll which was originally created as a MARIONETTE. The original strings which were attached to the head, arms and legs to move the doll in a marionette show were removed long ago. But please understand that this is a Lenci marionette as opposed to the more common Lenci boudoir dolls which were meant for fixed display. The structure of this marionette doll is completely different than the simple boudoir doll versions.
I have seen several Colombina boudoir dolls through the years, but I have never seen another Colombina marionette. This dollmay have been a special commission or a Lenci studio prototype, which could mean it is a one-of-a-kind gem.
Colombina, or "little dove,"is a character from the 16th century Italian comedic improvisational art form, Commedia dell'Arte. She usually plays a comic servant and is Harlequin's mistress and the wife of Pierrot. Please see the artist MarcelloDudovich's design for Colombina as she appeared in the 1925/1926 Lenci catalogue and as shown on page 67in Marco Tosa's "Bambole Lenci" (last photo below).
Again, this doll was created to be a MARIONETTE. The strings that were removed (she was like that when I bought her) can still be seen in my photoswhere the black strings were once attached (ears, shoulders, hands, knees, etc.).
Other Lenci Colombines usually seen are regular dolls with fixed, straight legs that only move at the hips. The arms might be bent at the elbow, but only move at the shoulders. The head and neck only turn with limited mobility on a solid stuffed torso.
This unusualmarionette has multi-jointed arms and legs, a very mobile head which makes it very life-life and highly posable, and a segmented torso which separates the upper waist from the lower hips, making for even greater mobility and life-like movements. Her construction is very different than a regularboudoir doll. As such, she is very, VERY RARE! I have never seen another.
This amazing Lenci creation is 26" tall, with movable head, hard-stuffed two-part cloth torso swivel-jointed at the waist, with her right arm bent at the elbow in a fixed position and her left arm outstretched but jointed at the elbow. Her right hand, open withthe fingersjoined except for the thumb,and her left handwith fingers joined and curled to hold an object, can be made to assume many realistic positions. Her long, tapering legs are jointed at the hip and knees for easy posing, with elegant arched feet in high heels for prancing across a stage!
What feels like metal joint-like fittings can be felt at the shoulders, knees and waist that facilitate movement.
The head is engineered to move exactly like a human head. I have tried to show this in my photos. The neck tapers and is fitted into a deep openingwhere it moves freely. At the back of her head is a flap of felt sewn over the zigzag stitching usually seen at the back of the neck. I can only guess that this flap, if opened, would reveal some of the inner workings of the head’s incredible mobility.
This elegant lady isnot mint but close to it! The doll's face is cleanand unblemishedand herfeatures are beautifully painted and all original.Note the two tiny beauty marks -- one on her right cheek and one above her upper lip on the left side-- so fashionablein the 16thcentury. Her soft blonde mohair is piled high on her head and gathered into curls held in place with a bouquet of many tiny felt rosebuds.
Because she was once a working marionette, there is some overall shelf dust. The white organdy of her costume and cream felt trim is slightly age-darkened and there are a few tiny pinholes in the felt, but the colors of her gownare bright and unfaded. The opening at the back of the underskirtneeds fastening.
I can see no discoloration or damage to the felt torso, limbs or costume although there is ever so slight soiling of the hands and wear to both thumbs
Her boldfelt gown in three shades oforange is one of the most elaborate and fanciful costumes ever created by Lenci. The bodice of the gown is adorned with tiny organdy bows below a sweetheart neckline and organdy ruff. The lighter orange bodice ends in long organdy sleeves and the huge peplum overskirt is trimmed with a large deeper shade of orange scroll work border. The underskirt is exquisitely designed and executed inan intricate geometric pattern consisting of a third shade of orange diamonds trimmed with cream lattice work. The hemline is shaped by the points of the diamonds and edged with a 1/2” border of tightly pleated trim.
The attached organdy ruffled slip and pantaloons are all crisp and intact. She wears silk stockings and delicate matching felt high heels with tiny felt flowers and bowsand the straps are fastened with tinyorange beads.
This amazing lady is a perfect example of the highest level of sophisticated Lenci design. This is not a simply conceived doll but a painstakingly executed work of art. The fact that she is a marionette makes her one of the rarest and most desirable of Lenci creations that belongs in any serious Lenci or cloth doll collection, whether private or museum-level.
My Buy It Now price for this beauty is exactly what I paid for her almost ten years ago. I will consider only serious offers, so please study all of my photos and remember, this is not a simple boudoir doll but a one-of-a-kind Lenci marionette.
Please check out my other sales this week for more great items.