General description: Adult man in the typical Blata costume from the Bohemia region.
Dimensions 25.5 x 9 x 7 cm
Date when acquired 2015
Original Date Unknown
Source Hanover flea market
Plastic with movable arms and legs. The features are painted on. The hair is moulded into the plastic and is painted light brown.
The man is wearing a waist-length dark brown felt jacket with red trim around the neck. Red pointed felt panels are sewn at the top of the front edges and on the outside of the sleeve cuffs. The panels are embroidered with white and black zig-zags. The pattern on the sleeve panels are the same but the right and left panels on the front are different.
He is wearing black felt knee-length trousers with a front flap edged with white embroidery in backstitch and zig-zags. The trousers are held up by braces made of red (now faded) ribbon and a wide black leather belt also embroidered in white lines and zig-zags. He is also wearing white knee socks and black half shoes made of plastic.
His white collared shirt has short sleeves and is complemented with a tie made of black ribbon.
His most imposing piece of clothing is his wide-brimmed hat. It is made of light green felt and has a broad dark green silk ribbon round the crown and two white feathers tucked into the back of it. This silk ribbon has also been used in a sunburst style to cover the under part of the brim which is stiffened with wire to form a frame for the face. On the right side of the front is a piece of red braid with a design in white flowers and hearts printed on it. Green lace is used to edge the top and bottom part of this braid panel. There is a rather interesting ‘brooch’ made of red and green pipe cleaners attached to the panel. The hat is tied under the man’s chin with narrow green ribbons.
The Blata folk costume is found in Bohemia in the region between České Budějovice, Tábor, Jindřichův Hradec and Vodňany. A lovely collection of pictures of clothing from this region was made by Ignác Šechtl before they were renewed and simplified during the national revival in second half of the 19th century (see http://sechtl-vosecek.ucw.cz/en/galerie/kroje/). In fact, it was the picture shown here which led me finally to decide what this doll represented (I had spent lots of time hunting through costumes from Austria, Switzerland, Southern Tyrol and even southern Germany).
This costume was formed in the 19th century. The women’s costume is richly embroidered and decorated with beads and sequins. The women’s shirt also it has an unusual collar called “výkladek“. The brightest and richest part of the costume is a large scarf called Blata plena. It is worn over a soft, three-part bonnet.
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