National Doll - German, circa 1960s Object Reg. No: SH 940195

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.
Female doll with a straw hat which is tied to the head with black ribbons. At the back of the hair is a black loop. She is dressed in: white underpants, white half-slip, white stockings, black skirt, black cover band ( at the front it goes up in a triangle to the breast.) The centre is decorated with a flower, made out of 7 little metal plates (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 are missing). White blouse with long sleeves. Over that is a red triangle scarf (decorated with flowers, hearts, leaves). Over the dress is a very short pinafore. The girl can open and close her eyes.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 22.00 cm (Height), 5.40 cm (Width), 7.50 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.

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