National Doll - German, Black Forest, circa 1960s Object Reg. No: SH 940199

National doll produced to represent a German woman, it is one of 8 sent to Monica Gates by relatives in Germany for birthdays etc. Monica began receiving these dolls in 1959. This doll is dressed to represent an unmarried woman from the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) region. The dress consists of a dirndl skirt with a floral design, fitted bodice or vest, blouse, apron, and a Bollenhut (wide-brimmed hat decorated with woollen balls or pompoms). Red pom-poms are worn by unmarried women and black by married ones.

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.
Female plastic doll wearing black plastic shoes, white knee- length socks, white cotton pants and black cotton dress with floral pattern. The dress is trimmed with black, green and red around the bottom and at the neck. Under the dress the girl wears a white blouse with short sleeves. Over the dress the girl wears a red pinafore with a gold ribbon and white lace around the edges. The doll has brown, synthetic plaits with red ribbons glued to her head. She wears a straw hat with seven red woollen balls. From the head are two small black veils falling down.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 23.60 cm (Height), 10.00 cm (Width), 8.70 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: Clothing & Textiles Collection, Migration Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Place Made: Germany, circa 1960s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1960s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Germany

Doll is intended to represent an unmarried woman from the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) region in Germany.

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