National Doll - Austrian, Wachau Valley, circa 1950s Object Reg. No: SH 940127

National doll produced to represent an Austrian woman, it is one of 17 sent to Monica Gates by her Austrian Grandparents. Monica began receiving these dolls in 1957, they represent various traditions and dress of eight of Austria's states. This doll is hallmarked 'melitta wien' on the back of it's neck. It is dressed in clothing typical of the Wachau Valley in Lower Austria, which is typified by the elaborate golden bonnet for married women or golden crown for young girls.

The Gates collection contains 170 national dolls from 74 different countries and some correspondence relating to the acquisition of several of the dolls. The costumes of the dolls represent national costumes from the 19th Century to the 1990s. Monica Gates collected or was given these dolls between 1957 and 1990.

These dolls were purchased as souvenirs of particular countries and like many mass produced souvenirs they are often not accurate representations of a particular country or region, and may actually better reflect neighbouring counties or regions. This occurs because costumes are often stylised and simplified resulting dolls wearing generic costume elements which are common to many countries/regions. Often the fabrics and decorations used are selected to make the dolls cheap and easy to manufacture and aesthetically pleasing. This can result in the fabrics, colours and decorations of the doll's clothing having little or no reflection of the costume associated with a particular country or region they are meant to be representative of.
Plastic moulded doll wearing a white petticoat, white underwear, white short socks and synethnic lace up shoes. Her dress is pale blue with pink and blue decoration and covered by a pale pink pinafore. The dress has lace trimming on its cuffs and a gold embroidered motif on its front. The doll has blonde plaited hair and wears a gold hat trimmed with gold embroidery and a black ribbon at the back.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 23.50 cm (Height), 15.00 cm (Width), 12.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: clothing, souvenirs, cultural beliefs, dolls, national costumes, children s play, national identity, cultural awareness
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Cultural Diversity Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Place & Date Made: Austria, circa 1950s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1957-1990
Other Association (See Comments): Wachau Valley, Austria

Doll is intended to represent an Austrian woman in the traditional folk dress of the Wachau Valley.

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