National Doll - English, Grenadier Guard, circa 1970s-1980s Object Reg. No: SH 940176

National doll produced to represent an English man, it was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The doll is wearing the dress uniform of the Foot Guards (the Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army). The Foot Guards are the primary garrison for London, are responsible for the military security of the Sovereign, and undertake ceremonial duties in London and occasionally elsewhere. Although the guards are most often associated with their ceremonial duties, particularly the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, they remain as operational infantry battalions, and perform in all the various roles of infantry. The Foot Guards contains five regiments: Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. In their dress uniform the regiments can be distinguished by the groupings of buttons on their red tunics and the colour of the plume on their bearskin cap. The white plume on this doll's bearskin cap indicates that it is dressed as a member of the Grenadier Guards.

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.
Male with a busby, red velvet jacket and black uniform-pants which have a red ribbon running along each outer seam. He has black shoes and white gauntlets. Around his waist he is wearing a white belt and his jacket is closed with four golden buttons. Around his neck his jacket has a black stand-up collar and on his shoulders are golden ribbons. In his right hand he is carrying a golden staff.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 20.50 cm (Height), 5.00 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: Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Place Made: England, Great Britain, circa 1970s-1980s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): England, Great Britain

Doll dressed to represent a Grenadier Guard (one of the regiments which make up the Foot Guards of the British Army)

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