National Doll - German, circa 1960s Object Reg. No: SH 940192

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, they represent various traditions and dress across Germany. This doll is dressed in traditional German women's folk dress, which generally consists of a dirndl skirt, fitted bodice or vest, blouse, apron, and some form of headwear. Regional differences are shown through the use of various colours, embroidery and the type of headwear.

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.
Girl doll with blond hair. She wears black shoes (painted to her feet), white stockings, white underpants, cream petticoat. Black skirt with a cream coloured lining at the bottom.The blouse is from the same material and colour as the lining from the skirt. Over the blouse is a triangle shawl in cream with a green, red, yellow pattern. Her hat is from the same material as the shawl and has a round, green felt top. A black felt sash covers her upper body. The girl has a yellow half pinafore which has in the middle an orange ribbon. She has blond plaits and can open or close her eyes.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 19.90 cm (Height), 6.00 cm (Width), 7.00 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: Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021, Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles 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 a German woman in traditional folk dress

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No