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Monday, April 23, 2012

Figures of the MIddle Ages with Wardrobes from The Doll Book

Starr writes of statutes and figures from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance that were bequeathed jewelry and outfits as part of their adoration. For example, she writes that in 1509, Beatrice Krikemer left her best beads to a Madonna statute in St. Stephens, Norwich, England. Later, Alice Carre bequeathed the statue coral beads, and King Henry II left it an emerald and a ruby.
Above is a photo of Our Lady of Walsingham as she is today. Starr continues with Catherine Hastings, who in 1506 left several items of clothing to a whole series of Madonnas as follows: "to our Lady of Walsingham, my velvet gown; of Doncaster, my tawny camlet gown; of Belcross, my black camlet, and to our Lady of Himmingburgh a piece of cremell and a lace of gold of Venus set with pearl" These are lucky doll figures indeed; they are also historically valuable records of fashion and customs of their day; like fashion dolls, they were adorned with contemporary outfits, not religious garb, though creche figures of the day were dressed in elaborate clothes created by artists and seamstresses.

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