First off, I'd LOVE to own a doll like this one! It's Rudolph Valentino in his "The Eagle" costume. The French auction catalog makes it sound like this doll was made by Lenci. I'm not too sure about that.....I always had the impression, this doll was made by another Italian company - Messina-Vat, but, that, too, could be wrong. Another company I've seen attributed to Valentino dolls is LaRosa. It's mentioned the doll is tagged, but didn't say what the tag read. Gives the reader the impression it's a tagged Lenci. Again, not too sure about that. If anyone knows for sure, I'd appreciate the information.
Anyway, there is one error for sure - "The Eagle" was released in 1925, not 1922......but, they're probably correct that the doll is circa 1925.
Karen sent me these photos of a composition/cloth boudoir doll she owns that had been altered by a previous owner from its original condition.
It's one thing to restore and another to reinvent, which is what had unfortunately been done to this doll.
So, Karen went about setting things right - First, she took off "that God-awful braid only to find the original hair under that had been doused with glue." Karen spent some time removing the goop off the doll's head. She also cleaned the doll's face, removing "a layer of yellow scum covering her." It appeared to have been caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. Finally, Karen added an old wig, appropriate to the doll. She plans to make her a silk brocade gown for her one day.
Wow, the doll looks like it once did instead of something out of the 1960's. Great job, Karen!
I watched one of the Mr. Moto series for the first time. Loved it! Here is a YouTube compilation of Mr. Moto films I found that is very cleverly done. I look forward to seeing more Mr. Moto films, starring Peter Lorre.
This all composition "Cubeb" smoker is a boudoir doll collector's dream! Dressed in her original Harem costume, she is a fine example of a film-influenced boudoir doll. In her era, Rudolph Valentino was the big heartthrob, and "The Sheik" and "Son of the Sheik" were all the rage. The ladies of these films, Agnes Ayres and Vilma Banky, both dressed in costumes similar to this doll.
This doll has the molded heel, and you will notice that her slipper has a hole at the heel for it to slip in.
Thank you, Sara, for allowing me to post these photos. She has a shop on Ruby Lane. Check it out!
In previous blog posts, I showed a couple of dolls, one in her original box, marked Betty Lei, that are similar to this all cloth doll. The heads of the other dolls differ and appear French-made, possibly JxB. (Link to previous blog posts)
This particular doll is most likely French as well, and even though there's a remnant of a tag, it does not help us know whether it's Gerb's or other French maker. Like the other two dolls, this doll's body is adorned with Raffia. These dolls remind a lot of collectors of Josephine Baker. Not sure if that was what inspired the dolls' creators, but I can see the connection.
With the help of the box on the other doll, it is evidence that at least that particular doll was made as a souvenir of Hawaii. However, the doll, featured in this blog post, looks more exotic with her arm adornment and large hoop earrings so could represent another ethnicity.
When I was a kid, I did nothing but read Nancy Drew books. I was crazy about her!
So, I spent this weekend watching the 1930's film version, based on the books. I must say, I don't remember Nancy Drew being quite so out of control and wacky, but the movies were hysterical! I recommend all four of them. I rented them from Netflix. They were made in 1938 and 1939.
The embedding was disabled on this YouTube clip so click the photo to view the clip from this fun film "Nancy Drew, Reporter" with Bonita Granville, Frank Thomas, Jr., Dickie Jones, and Mary Lee. This clip starts out with a great song sung by the group, headed up by Mary Lee.
The kids didn't have enough money to pay the restaurant bill so they ended up entertaining the other guests. Dickie Jones does a wonderful Donald Duck imitation, and isn't it interesting that years later, he did the voice of Pinocchio for Disney.
This very rare boudoir doll is marked "Lilith." The magazine cover "Delineator" was created by artist, Helen Dryden. The resemblance is very striking.
I posted in past blogs about these dolls and their possible Erte connection, but these drawings by Helen Dryden challenge this, OR perhaps, the Lilith doll was inspired by both artists? Click the two links to view the two blog posts. Link 1, Link 2
Thanks, Edna, for sending these photos and for providing information about Helen Dryden and her connection to, or influence of, the style of your fabulous boudoir doll. Edna mentioned she wonders who came first - did the doll's creation come about with Helen Dryden or did the doll influence Dryden's artwork?
I wish there was information about this doll that we could find out about the company, Lilith. Maybe, that would help answer the question.
Click the photo, above, to view an eBay auction of posters of Helen Dryden magazine covers.
This is a publicity photo of Loretta Young in "Magnificent Flirt" 1928. The boudoir doll is known by collectors as a "Kissing Cubeb." As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I don't know where the name "Cubeb" originated. The claim is these all-composition, jointed dolls (smoking versions) were used as advertising tools for Cubeb cigarettes. I have not seen any advertisement yet so not sure about this claim. I have only seen the smoking dolls referred to in ads as "The Parisienne," "Charleston Girl," "Silk Pajama Girl," "Silk Doll," "Satin Doll," Felt Doll," "Deluxe Cigarette Doll," and "Boudoir Doll."
This particular doll is a non-smoking version and looks like she's pouting or kissing, hence the nickname "Kissing Cubeb."
If anybody has an ad that shows these dolls connected to Cubeb cigarettes, I would appreciate seeing it.
These photos appear in the January 1991 issue of Dolls Magazine. Written by Stephanie Farago, the article on "Rare Lencis" was divided into several parts and appears in several issues of this magazine.
The photo, above, is a boudoir doll collector's dream home. Several years ago, Ms. Farago sold a bunch of her dolls at auction, and I was able to purchase a couple of the dolls that appear in that photo. I still have those dolls - an Alma and a Lenci, and they're among my favorites. The Alma is located on the left side of the fireplace, standing in the middle of the Pierrots. The Lenci is located on the right side of the fireplace with the yellow hat. Another doll I have is the smoker that is reclining on a fainting couch, located in front of the fireplace.
Imagine entering a home and being welcomed by these clowns? The one Pierrot in the distance, located in a niche to the left of the red frame was originally thought to be an early Lenci, however, it is now believed to…
"The Magic and Romance of Art Dolls" is one of the best books around. Published in 1986 and created by Stephanie Farago, Fred Farago and photographed by Bob Dennison, there has not been another book made to compare to it.
In my first years of collecting, almost 10 years ago, it was considered the boudoir doll collectors' "bible." Although, new information has been discovered since its publication, the photos pay homage to the boudoir doll and other related art doll items.
Click the photo to access Amazon where this book is available.
This French Suede-Faced boudoir doll wears a painted-on silk gown that has survived better than the Rosalinde's. Although, it, too, is shredding, Sue was able to reinforce it with iron-on interfacing. This will help keep it together a little longer. Notice how the pink paint on her skirt looks the same shade as the Rosalinde's. Same maker? Same dressmaker? Coincidence?
The silk has disintegrated on this French Rosalinde. The gown was painted-on silk with metallic lace. Sue is in the process of creating the same gown. First, she carefully removed the skirt and put it on a board. From the remnants, she will create a pattern. Then, comes the task of recreating the painted design.