National doll produced to represent a French woman. It was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The long skirt, apron, blouse and shawl worn by this doll were common components of women's folk costume across Europe with regional differences being shown through colour, fabric, embroidery, headwear and cut.

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.

Physical Description

Plastic female doll with sleeping blue eyes. Brown synthetic hair tucked under straw, wide-brimmed hat with green ribbon and decorative arrangement on top, wearing white dress with large puffed sleeves to elbow, full skirt with two bands of green ribbon at bottom. Black felt bodice over dress has two flowers attached at front and black apron is edged in black lace. Stiffened canvas petticoat, flat black shoes and silver look bead necklace. Doll has jointed arms and neck. Head turned towards right.

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