Elena König was born in Turin in 1886. When she was 14 years old she did what so many children dreamed of and ran off to join the circus. She returned home after a few months and later studied art and photography. In 1915, she married Enrico Scavini and moved with him to Italy. After the loss of her first child, Elena began creating dolls, using readily available felt and working with her brother to create special molds. In 1919, the Lenci factory was established. "Lenci" is thought to be an acronym from the Latin motto "Ludus Est Nobis Constanter Industria" (Play is our constant work), although some biographers state that it is also based on Elena’s German nickname. The company's artistic felt dolls, typically dressed in beautifully tailored outfits of felt and organdy, became very popular and were widely copied by companies throughout Europe. In 1928, Lenci also began a ceramics factory renowned for its stylized figurines. The company created everything from small souvenir dolls and mascots to high-end play dolls to decorative boudoir ladies. This 27-inch tall boudoir lady is unusual as she is lavishly dressed in velvet and silk, heavily adorned with gold embroidery. She is all original except for her necklaces, rosary and slippers. Her exquisite and detailed outfit represents the traditional Charro folk costume of Salamanca, Spain.
AUSTIN DOLL COLLECTORS SOCIETY
The Austin Doll Collectors Society is an organization of antique, vintage, and modern doll collectors, dealers, and artisans. We meet on the first Monday of each month and our meetings are fun and educational. We begin with refreshments and socializing, and, following our brief business meeting, there is a special doll-related program and "show and tell." The Austin Doll Collectors Society is a nonprofit organization and is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.