National doll produced to represent a Welsh woman, it was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The common image of women's Welsh national dress of a striped flannel petticoat, worn under a flannel open-fronted bedgown, an apron, shawl, and a cap or kerchief worn under a tall black hat, was largely developed during the 19th Century. The popularity of this symbol of Welsh identity owed much to the efforts of Augusta Hall (1802-1896) who worked hard to promote Welsh language and culture during a period when they were under threat. The costume is based on clothing worn by Welsh countrywomen during the early nineteenth century, although the tall black hat is thought to have been based on an amalgamation of men's top hats and a form of high hat worn during the 1790-1820 period in country areas. However the length of this doll's skirt is much shorter than is traditionally seen with this costume.

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

Female doll dressed in a red skirt with a cream sleeveless top. She has an apron around her waist and a black and red checked shall around her shoulders. She has a tall black hat which is tied under her chin with a cream, lace ribbon. Her shoes are black. Her eyes are open, but they close when she reclines.

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