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Doll of the Month - June - Lenci Pierrot

Sue is working on restoring her dolls, and she’s trying to complete one doll each month.  So, we’re going to call these blog entries “Doll of the Month.”

June’s doll was a Lenci Pierrot. It needed a lot of work, getting him clean.

 During the process, Sue discovered that someone had written on his arm. “Bob” VP LE 1

The Pierrot’s mandolin is dated Nov 23, 1926 and is marked Giulio. Sue believes it is Giulio da Milano, one of the artists that worked for Lenci. Also, on the mandolin is the name of a Turin hotel, Conte Biancamamo, which was built in 1895. Coleman's Doll Encyclopedia mentions Giulio da Milano, and that in 1923, Lenci exhibited in Paris and the Leipzig Fair. 

Sue believes this Lenci Pierrot most likely was designed by Giuilo as he was known for his work with the Commedia dell'arte characters.  She wonders if this particular Pierrot wasn’t a prototype because of the B on his back, and comparing the other Pierrots she’s seen, there is more detail and color. Another possibility is the B on the back of the Lenci body suggests the doll-making may have been 'out-sourced'? That is, the doll or the bodies were possibly sent elsewhere to be made. The writing on the doll’s hand remains a mystery.

The only thing Sue did to the body was stabilize the eyes, using an artist’s varnish. She brushed and vacuumed the doll and costume. The leg and shoe were damaged so she patched the shoe with felt and the leg with calico. Sue used a fusible webbing under the fabric to repair the damage to the leg and shoes because it really can't be changed. Sue says Lenci bodies cannot be replaced.

Sue tried turning the felt costume inside out, and it was a nightmare, because of the tiny machine stitching on the Lenci costume. So, she, instead, replaced the costume with new felt, mainly because the fading of the ruffle around the neck and buttons was significant, and it would have been too obvious if only the pink neck ruffle and buttons were replaced.

 Sue created a pattern for the Pierrot’s Lenci costume. 

And, what I really appreciate about Sue is she keeps the original costume/outfit or remnants of the original, depending on its initial condition, to include with the doll should she ever decide to sell it.


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