National Doll - Austrian, Salzburg, circa 1950s Object Reg. No: SH 940143

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 from eight of Austria's states. This doll is dressed in traditional Austrian women's folk dress, which generally consists of a dirndl skirt, fitted bodice or vest, white blouse, apron, and some form of headwear. Regional differences are shown through the use of various colours, embroidery and the type of headwear. The large hat which is the colour of straw and the fine detailing of the costume, suggests the doll is dressed to represent a women from the Salzburg region. Salzburg folk dress is often quite romantic and a woman's 'best' costume could be made from silk and is often worn with a large straw hat and umbrella.

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.
This doll is wearing a green long skirt with a green bodice and white cotton sleeves and collar edged with lace. Over the skirt is a red and white striped apron, and underneath are white knickerbockers, white hose and black plastic shoes. Her long blonde hair is braided and curled into two buns on either side of her head. She wears a large cream felt hat which is tied on with a long black ribbon.
Discipline: History

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): Salzburg, Austria

Doll is intended to represent an Austrian woman wearing traditional folk costume from the Salzburg region


althea fey cadaing Posted on 10 Oct 2013 9:16 PM
that dress is classy it has many beautiful colors

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