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Table of Contents
Lenci Manufacturing was established by Enrico Scavini and his wife Helen König Scavini in 1919, for the production of dolls and "toys in general, furniture, furnishings and children's layettes"; but even for the production of a special kind of fabric used for furnishings, tapestries and dolls, better known as "pannolenci" felt.
In 1927 the company decided to expand its production to a line of figurines and objects in enamelled ceramic. In 1928, this led to a very rich catalogue of statuettes and objects that immediately became the fashion for Italian middle and upper classes. In order to attain this goal, the manufacturing company availed itself of the creative collaboration of important Turin-born artists such as Sandro Vacchetti, Gigi Chessa, Mario Sturani, Abele Jacopi, Ines and Giovanni Grande, Felice Tosalli and even the owner of the company herself, Helen König Scavini, who was responsible for the creation of a successful series called "Signorine": female photography of the Turin bourgeoisie during the full-blown 1930s.
Lenci's ceramic sculptures gained their inspiration from contemporary fashion magazines, amidst traditional scenes, figures of young captivating and mischievous women that described the tastes of an era and of a society. Sportswomen, actresses, but even courtly scenes, partner dances, rustic and mythological themes, fairy-tales, grotesque and funny-looking children, female nudes bordering on affectedness and playfully provocative women are the visual archive of a community balanced between alternating historical events during Italy's Fascist period -- becoming the unavoidable status symbols in Italian middle-class parlours.
The Ferrero Collection is the most important collection in the world dedicated to the Lenci manufacturing company: this volume is dedicated to the Collection, and so is the exhibition staged on the premises of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza.