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Nelling, Inc.

C l o t h   D o l l s

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Lenci Mascottes

Scottish Costumes

$575. each doll
The beloved line of Lenci dolls never seems to disappoint, and there was a character or costume made for every interest and taste.  These petite sized examples from the 1930's are called Mascottes and they are completely original and in near mint condition.  The side-glancing, blue painted eyes almost put them in the googly category. They don't have their tags, but their felt costume kilts of red, yellow and black plaid both wear forest green jackets, all in felt.  The boy has some brown felt shorts under his kilt and the girl sports a feather in her brown felt cap.  My uncle used to send me dolls like these from Italy when I was a small child!

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Izannah Walker, the Cover Girl

Every Izannah cloth doll is an important one, whether in near mint condition or if needing substantial restoration, we love them all!  This Izannah (19") came to me from a private collection and what gives her that extra bit of importance is that, not only does she appear in the John Darcy Noble book "Beautiful Dolls", but she also appears in and on the March 2018 cover of Antique Doll Collector Magazine.  She has plenty of warmth and soul, starting with her painted gray/blue eyes, gently colored lips and cheeks, and single ringlet curls in front of her raised ears.
Her surface on face, shoulders, hair and arms is original, showing the unavoidable marks of time, but not enough to distract from her beauty and presence.  Only a couple spots on her forehead and on her nose bear the careful, loving trace of trying to touch up as little as possible, thus preserving originality.  There are untouched scuffs on top of her head, around her neck, and on her lower arms to hands that have all fingers present, but showing different levels of wear.
Her fabric body is in lovely original condition and she has the more unusual bare feet on which she wears her well worn, brown leather, lace-up shoes.  Stockings, undergarments and dress are all antique and with her are included the two publications in which she is documented.

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Lenci Sport Series - Rower


From the rare and sought-after Lenci sports series comes this handsome guy (17"), the Lenci Rower (missing his wooden oar) who dates from 1930 Italy. His face is pressed and painted felt with the side-glancing shyness of the 300 series, with brown painted eyes and soft blond mohair on his swivel head. Also of felt is his chubby, stuffed toddler body, jointed at the shoulders and hips, as well as his rowing costume of cream with bold black stripes repeated on the shirt and cap. He is the proud winner of a blue ribbon from a past doll competition. Just a bit of soil is on his face, with a small area of wear over his right eyebrow.

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Chase Cloth Hospital Baby

The Judy McDonald Collection

As the wife of a medical doctor, Martha Chase embraced the task of providing a doll that was also a life raining tool for young children.  The stuffed, entirely stockinet "Hospital Baby" is extra weighted with sand to give it the realistic feel of holding an actual live baby.  With heavy stitching that provides jointing at the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips, lifting and embracing the baby would teach kids how to handle and dress a real infant safely.
The painted, molded hair on this baby is a golden blond that has some chipped paint on the center area of the bangs, the eyes are painted a bright and alert blue, the lips red and the cheeks a healthy blush tone.  Under the arms is the Chase factory stamp.  Clothing consists of an antique white cotton gown, frilly cotton antique bonnet, and a cape-collar coat in a small plaid wool.  The infant shoes are of oilcloth that cleverly fold and button closed.

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Black Stockinet Beecher Doll
The Judy McDonald Collection

Made by a women's church group in Elmira NY between 1892 and 1910, the Beecher doll (20") was designed by Julia Jones Beecher.  Although a quite subtle face, the Beecher doll had powerful, beautiful features caused by constructive stitching, bold red thread used for the lips and the two varying layers of glass beads used to create the cornea and iris of the eyes. The hair is tightly curled and stitched black yarn.
The stockinet was stretched rather tightly over the face and it is therefore common to see repair stitches to reinforce holes that would occur over time.  Her body is of a semi shiny cotton cloth and is jointed with stitching at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.  She wears her original blue cotton dress with white apron and tied around her head is her original red, black and white bandana  Quite interesting are her camel suede mocassins.

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French Venus Cloth Doll

The grand success of the Lenci Company lead by Elena Scavini in the 1920's and beyond, influenced many countries in Europe to produce "Lenci-type" dolls of pressed felt and cloth like this one from the Venus company in France.  Other French makers were Raynal and Poir. This sweet girl is 16 3/4" tall and wears what may be a governess costume and she is all original from head to toe, even having her tow original tags.  One is for her manufacturer "Venus" and the other  from Au bon March in Paris, the store that marketed her reading "Jouets" or toys.
Very much like her inspiration of a Lenci doll, she has the pressed felt face with side-glancing, brown painted eyes and a slightly pouty expression.  Her black velvet uniform is trimmed with lace and metallic cord and the accent color provided by her aqua blue apron and skirt hep trim is of a satin like synthetic, typical of the 30's and 40's from which she came.  She is all of cloth except for her celluloid or early plastic hands and she has jointing at the neck, shoulder and hips.

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Dora Petzoldt Cloth Art Doll

The Judy McDonald Collection

A contemporary of the Marian Kaulitz Munich Art dolls, Dora Petzoldt created this seldom found cloth beauty during the same 1930's period.  Also called the Art Doll Movement of Germany, it was a fitting name for these lifelike works of art in 3-D, with their molded composition, elongated socket heads, slim stockinet bodies, stitch- jointed at the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips, soft mohair wigs and expertly painted and shaded facial features.
This example has painted blue, detailed eyes with shaded lids, a warm red lips in a closed, pensive semi-smile, a strong nose, almost olive complexion with lightly rouged cheeks and wispy platinum short hair.  Her original costume, modeled after the most fashionable children's clothing of the day, is of heavy striped cotton with a seaside flair, antique white leather shoes and a smart, finely woven straw cloche hat.  Excellent condition with faint moisture lines on limbs.  From the long-loved collection of Judy McDonald.

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Dora Petzoldt Cloth Doll

The Judy McDonald Collection

Such a nice surprise to find another one of these life-like cloth dolls made by Dora Petzoldt during the Art Doll Movement of the 1930's.  This tall child has a molded composition socket head on a long-limbed stockinet body that has stitch-jointing at the shoulders, hips, elbows and knees, with some moisture marks on the limbs. Her painted, multi-detailed blue eyes and shaded eylids have a serene look, she has a long face with shaded cheeks and a subtle rose painted closed mouth.  There is some wear to the surface of her face, mostly seen at the tip of her nose.
 Her vibrant, red mohair locks frame her face in a fashionable bob.  The original bold red and white stripe skirt of heavy cotton is repeated on her cuffs, pockets and placket collar of the also original shirt top, she has antique black leather shoes and red stockings, with antique undergarments that peak from below.  The mark on her body reads: Dora Petzold Registered Trademark Doll Germany and just like all the Dora Petzoldt creations, was carefully made in Petzold's German  workshop under her direct supervision.  From the long-loved collection of Judy McDonald.

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Whimsical Character

in Black Cloth

Here's one to bring a smile to your face, a curious and tall black cloth doll from the early 20th century that has strong features molded into her face with stitching, then enhanced with painted details like large, expressive eyes, highlighted brows and a stern set of red painted lips, not to mention her bristly waves of reddish brunette real hair.  Her stuffed body is stout as opposed to her long and lanky cloth limbs.  A tailored outfit of a jacket and full skirt with long cotton underskirt in bold colors lets her sit just about anywhere she wants.

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Charming  17 1/2" Black Cloth Girl

Where is this girl from?  She is so cute and she gets more and more endearing the longer you study her.  We place her as Caribbean or American, early 20th century and the most charming detail about her are her stitched fingernails and toenails!  Seconded by her side-glancing button eyes with embroidered whites, just like her embroidered orange-red lips.  Her black cloth face has some detailed stitching to accentuate the nose and she has black yarn pigtail braids secured by orange ribbons.
The whole body is cloth with sewn joints at the shoulders and hips and don't forget the fingers and toes with accents of white stitches.  Her blue and white plaid, two piece heavy cotton dress has some ruffles and tucks for interest, and she carries a woven cloth basket of cloth bananas from the country market. 

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 French Leather Baby

$2,950.   ON HOLD
 I pulled this beloved French leather baby (5") from my personal collection,  and for those who collect these dolls, the varying character style is no surprise.  There are certainly a few distinct looks, probably by different artists at the time.  This infant has some crimping of the face that could have been caused by moisture over the decades, or possibly the piece of leather used had that inherent texture.
 Made ca. 1920 of leather with pressed facial features on a swivel head that looks to have been re-secured inside, impasto painted blonde hair, oil painted complexion and facial features, and bent limb body with jointing at shoulders and hips.  The antique gown and underwear are of a diaphanous organdy fabric, while the vintage bonnet is crocheted.  On the lower back of the head, there is a gap where the leather slightly separated and hardened at time of making.  Both babies are shown in the one photo enjoying a stroll in the Marklin carriage being sold separately on the Accessories Page.

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Trio of Rare K*R Cloth Caricatures

$995.  ON HOLD
  The German firm of Kammer and Reinhardt proved their versatility over their many decades of doll production, using composition, bisque and celluloid in their repertoire. In 1912, this entertaining series of cloth comic characters was introduced and few survived the elements of time, weather and storage.
We have here three individuals, each with his own personality, including a stout character who is either whistling or missing his cigarette, a tall, ginger haired gentleman who is indeed smoking, and a shorter member of the group who is also smoking, is holding his fabric flower bouquet and has a fur muff around his neck.  All three are dressed in varying masculine costumes in felt and cotton, each wearing a matching hat.
  Quite appealing is that the are fortified under their stuffing with wire armatures and their wooden feet are amusingly a bit oversized, providing extra stability and balance for stand-free displaying possibilities.  Condition is original and very good for these hard to find examples from K*R.  Tallest is 13", shorter are 12".


Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

       Cell (818) 738-4591   n Home Phone (818) 562-7839 

Don't forget to look at the Miscellaneous page!