Me Old Dutch!

In true PastMastery form, whilst we are waiting for the two commissions to dry and before we can document them being cut out, we shall turn to something we found this week, or rather, one of our dummy board ‘spies’ found this week. Thank  you Rob!

A Pair of 19th century Dutch dummy boards

Not a very good photo but it doesn’t really matter as we have another one! ( It was taken through a plate glass window! )

The Dutch couple...again

This type of figure was massed produced in Holland, you see, it is said, for the tourists to take home with them. Hard to see us shoving one of these figures under our arm today, and marching onto a plane! That is, of course , if there are any planes braving the ‘dust cloud”! 🙂

This type of figure shows the many types of National Dress, or rather, I should say, regional dress of Holland. The Low Countries as they used to be called, had and still have a rich variety of costumes which vary from area to area.

Go to:  Folklore Federation of Holland to have a look at a good site with many of them being worn for High Days and Holidays. ( click on the flag then go to the Folk lore groups ) The above site is a Folk Dance Federation, which is very much alive and ( if you’ll forgive the pun ), kicking in Holland.

So, this type of dummy board is quite commonly found, what ever the reason for their production. There are several of course in various Dutch museums ( the second photo is by kind permission of The Open Air Museum in Arnhem ) and the above figure was found by Rob as he travels about this country,  and is in an Antique shop in London at this precise moment.

It’s interesting to look at some of these costumes in detail. I’ve often wondered why certain elements of dress stayed with us and others disappeared without trace.

In some cases it’s easy to see why the costumes look as they do. Take the young man in the first picture, which is almost identical to the boy in the second. He is dressed in black, quite sombrely really but with distinct shiny silver buttons. These were apparently a local production in tin and they appear too on some ladies in the form of ear decorations… called ‘Ear hangers’ and little hanging decorations called ‘Hair needles’. These project from the headdress and must be really annoying if you have to work or dance in them!

The Zeeland Girl; her ear hangers and her hair needle.

This girl comes from Zeeland. I had a phone call one day from a gentleman who collected ( he said it not me….) strange things!  🙂 One of the things he had, was a painted figure of a girl. Could it be a dummy board?

The Zeeland Girl and her handbag

Stephen and I went off for the day to Warwickshire where we had a good look at this figure, pronounced it a dummy board and gave the owner a bit of the history and a bit of info on the origins of his girl. In return he let me take pictures of his dummy board.

The young man above is holding a fishing net  with floats attached and net- like fabrics have become incorporated into Regional dress, no doubt to indicate the seafaring and fishing industries paramount to the Dutch way of life, of the past.

It’s fairly easy to identify the area from which these dummy boards come, from their costume. For example these two come from Noord Holland. They are dressed in the costume of Marken which is a little island in the Ijsselmeer.

Two Dutch children 19th or early 20th century.

These two are from  The Hague area and were sold at Christies in the U.S. a while ago. She has the Ear hangers again.And Lo and Behold… here is another young lady like the one above, also from The Hague. The girls sometimes carry a sort of square hand bag, which is often beaded and you can still find these in Holland today.

A girl from the Hague

Where have we seen something like it before?

AH yes….remember the Oakwell Girl? She appeared in my post Silent and Deadly.

The 17th century Oakwell Girl, by kind permission of Oakwell Hall

No? Well she was very tiny in that post. You are forgiven for not remembering her. 🙂 Here she is LARGE!

SHE has one of these little wicker basket type square handbags. We know she is Dutch ( there are several other clues that tell us this ) but, my point is this:, all that time ago this sort of accessory was part of the dress of a fashionable girl.  Not much change there then.

Us girls and our H A N D B A G S!

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One Response to “Me Old Dutch!”

  1. A Second Career? « Pastmastery's Blog Says:

    […] We have seen enough Dutch and Flemish figures on this blog to recognise a regional costume when we see one. The large silvery buttons are a bit of a give away! He looks very like the Zeeland Boy from our post “Me Old Dutch” […]

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