- Helen (Elena) Konig Scavini (1886-1974)
Founder of the Lenci factory, Elena was born to an Austrian Mother and German father. In 1905 she decided to move from Germany to Turin, Italy which is where she eventually set up the factory. She does however, return to Germany to study at the School of Applied Art which is where she meets Clare Buchart, a skilled ceramic modeller.
When in 1928 Elena decides to widen her production into ceramics as a bid to save the Lenci factory, Clare is one of the main artists that Elena collaborates with. The Art Deco figurines designed by Elena Konig Scavini are amongst the most sought after by Lenci collectors, and the more provocative and risqué the design, the more money they command.
- Sandro Vacchetti (1889-1976)
Elena’s husband Enrico, first became aware of the talented young Sandro Vacchetti’s in 1919 when he met him at an artist’s festival and offered him employment with the Lenci factory. A skilled modeller and decorator Sandro was soon made Artistic Director in 1922, a position which continued to hold even when the factory incorporated the ceramics division into their production. Today Sandro Vacchetti’s work is highly prized by collectors, especially those pieces created for the ‘Essevi’ factory which he founded in 1934 after leaving Lenci. Vacchetti’s work also holds the highest ever recorded auction price of £ for the ‘Abissina’ figurine which sold at Christies in 2005. Another piece which was sold by Bonhams is the standing nude figurine of a woman, who is only wearing a wide brim hat, high heels and holding a clutch bag made a staggering £9,015 (with premium) in 2005.
A skilled modeler for Lenci, Giovanni Grande’s figures were extremely modern for their time. His main subject matter often incorporated courting couples so as to give a romantic reflection to this sculpture. This is evident in his ‘Almanti Sul Tronco’ piece which shows a couple entwined on the log of a tree.
Many of Abele’s subjects were once again Nude like ‘Mamma Sirena’ which depicts a nude woman holding a child and often many of the figurines featured Mermaids. The “Mermaid and Merchild” piece created in 1935 is one of the most well-known as is the Lady Mermaid dish from 1939.
Nillo Beltrami worked at Lenci from 1929 to 1930. He designed only 6 pieces which included Lenci ‘La Pera’ (The Pear). This particular figurine was of a nude woman sitting on a painted pear. It astonished everyone when in 2005 it sold on eBay for an amazing $17,100. It was clearly marked &lsq uo;Lenci Made in Italy 13-1-30 and carried the impressed mark ‘Beltrami’ on the rim Beltrami
These are just some of the skilled modeler’s and designers who worked for Lenci during the ceramics period. Each piece which was created is very distinctive to the particular designer that created it. So it is only through handling and examining Lenci creations that you will gain knowledge of each designers traits and how the factory evolved.
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