BUYING A LENCI: PART 2
REAL LENCI OR "WANNABE"?
Doing Your Homework
Collecting Lencis is an exciting and gratifying hobby. I have rarely had so much joy as when the mailman delivers a newly acquired purchase, I open the box, and find my breath taken away by yet another amazing Lenci creation. And no sooner do I think that I have an example of every Lenci that I want than I discover another that I simply “must have.”
On the other hand, I can remember those few times when I started collecting Lencis that I opened a box only to be shot through with dismay. I knew immediately that I’d made a big boo-boo! What I was sure was a Lenci on an eBay auction page was obviously not a Lenci when I had it in my hands and could examine it carefully.
Meaning, I have learned the hard way that a doll may seem like a Lenci and not actually be one.
When Lenci was creating its magnificent dolls, several other doll companies at the time tried to “cash in” on Lenci’s success. In many instances, the owners or employees of these companies worked at one time for Lenci.
So skillful were these companies in emulating Lenci’s style – some more so than others – that they became known as “wannabe Lenci” companies. It takes some study to be able to detect the telltale signs of a “wannabe” doll. But with time, your eye will become trained to spot the “glitter” from the “gold.”
It all comes down to research, experience, and training your powers of observation. Don’t try to rely solely on gut instinct alone. That is too emotional a way to make a decision. Do your homework! Read, read and read some more! Study every photograph you can find. In particular, study photographs of different models of the same doll so that you will learn what original face painting looks like, learn the different outfits that Lenci made by studying the original catalogues, and go to as many museums, auctions and doll shows where Lencis may be seen so that you can learn first-hand what you should be looking for.