National Doll - Austrian, Styrian, circa 1950s Object Reg. No: SH 940136

National doll produced to represent an Austrian man. 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. The costume of this doll is typical of men's traditional dress across Austria which generally consists of lederhosen (leather short with an ornamental belt and suspenders), a hat and short jacket without lapels. Different regions can be identified through the use of colour, embroidery or style of headwear. This doll is intended to represent a man from the region of Styria, whose traditional grey jacket with green lapels, known as the 'Styrian Suit', often regarded the epitome of men's traditional costume in Austria.

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 wears kakhi leather shorts that are held up by kakhi leather braces, and a white cotton shirt with red ribbon tie. He has a grey felt jacket that is trimmed in green felt, and white hose socks and black plastic shoes. On his head is a large felt hat decorated with green cord, two white feathers, gold thread and felt flowers.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 30.50 cm (Height), 15.00 cm (Width), 15.00 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): Styria, Austria

Doll is intended to represent an Austrian man in traditional folk dress from the region of Styria

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