National Doll - Polish, circa 1970s-1980s Object Reg. No: SH 940246

National doll produced to represent a Polish woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1970s-1980s. Poland historically contained many languages, cultures and religions. Traditional Polish folk costumes vary by region, but are typically brightly coloured and decorated with embroidery. Clothing for women includes a full skirt, blouse and headdress, and vests and aprons are also worn in many regions. Lace up boots are also often worn.

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.
Doll, plastic, female. She is wearing a dress comprising of a white muslin bodice and light blue skirt. At the hem of the skirt is a deep white border decorated with a floral pattern. She has a red vest with a red braid border around the waist. She has a green felt cap with flowers and a red and yellow ribbon and a white net apron with white floral embroidery on the lower edge. She has loose blonde, shoulder length hair.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 19.00 cm (Height), 4.00 cm (Width), 9.00 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
Inscriptions: "Poland" (-written on attached paper tag)
Place Made: Poland, circa 1970s-1980s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Poland

Doll is intended to represent a Polish woman in 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