National doll produced to represent an English man, it was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The doll is wearing clothing commonly worn by seamen in the 17th and 18th Centuries. This style of clothing, known as 'slops', generally consisted of a suit of canvas with doublet and breeches, cotton waistcoat, cotton drawers, stockings, linen shirt, shoes and a woollen Monmouth cap or cocked or tricorn hat. During the 16th Century the Royal Navy began to make these items widely available to sailors both on ships and in major coastal towns, also issuing specifications for the types of items to be sold and setting fixed prices. These items became an unofficial uniform for all English seamen many of who spent time in the Navy.

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

Male doll. Has painted black shoes, white socks. He wears black felt breeches, red vest with three gold buttons, a grey felt jacket with six gold buttons and around the wrist and lapels there is a darker grey felt. The boy wears a tricorn-hat (black felt with three gold buttons).

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