Germany: Courting couple, Spreewald, Brandenburg

Spreewald couple in a punt
Spreewald couple in a punt

General description A couple in festive Spreewald Sorbian costume on a traditional Spreewald punt

Date when acquired 2014

Original Date Unknown

Source Flea market in Göttingen.


Dimensions 12.5 cm x 7 cm x 4-5 cm

Man (front)
Man (front)


Hard plastic body with movable arms and rigid legs. The features are painted on the soft plastic of his head. His blonde hair is short with a long fringe virtually hiding his right eye.



He is wearing a blue high-neck felt waistcoat with a white collar over the top (most probably indicative of a linen or cotton shirt underneath). It has four red buttons. Over this he is wearing a long black felt jacket with three yellow buttons. The buttons are made of felt. His trousers are a cream-coloured felt. His black low shoes are made of plastic.


On his head is a black felt peaked cap.

Man (back)
Man (back)



See punt below



Dimensions 12.5 cm x 7 cm x 4.5 cm


Woman (front)
Woman (front)


Hard plastic with immovable body and head as she is fixed in a sitting position on the punt. She has movable eyes. Her black hair is short and straight.



She is wearing a white long-sleeved blouse with lace around the cuffs. Over this is a white silk shawl with a braid embroidered with flowers and butterflies in red and green. Her blue silk skirt has white piping around it. This is covered by a white lace apron that is tied at the front by yellow ribbons. Her white stockings are painted on, but her low black shoes are made of plastic.

She has the easily recognisable yellow Spreewald Sorbian headdress made of a large yellow silk scarf. It is decorated with pink, red and green rose appliqués at the back and on each of the front “wings” of the headdress. The yellow silk is edged with white lace.


Woman (back)
Woman (back)


She is holding two long-stemmed purple and white flowers in her left hand.



Dimensions 30 cm x 75.5 cm x 2 cm

The body of the punt is made of wood painted black. It has a slated seat for one person made of unpainted white wood. The pole for the punt is also made of this type of wood.


Background information

The woman seems to be wearing the traditional Spreewald Sorb costume though she is not wearing the velvet skirt and waistcoat considered to be part of this type of costume.

In contrast, the man’s costume certainly does not comply with the descriptions given. His cap, for instance, looks like a sailor’s cap typical of the River Elbe region (Elbseglermütze) rather than the top hat or the pointed conical hat typical of the Sorbs. The long jacket and waistcoat look rather like the jackets and waistcoats of the unmarried young men from the Braunschweig (Brunswick) region; married men wear long coats.

Thinking about it, this seem to be a young courting couple rather than a father and daughter as I had first thought due to the difference in sizes of the dolls.


For further information about Spreewald costumes see also The Sorbs — General information.

(1.7.21 & 1.7.22)


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