Getting Dressed Up!

Change-of-Costume Toy


Since at least the eighteenth century, change-of-costume toys with their fashion wardrobes have beguiled and entertained young girls. Before they were produced commercially, children and adults alike created their own, dressing and accessorising them in the fashions of the day. The few surviving sets are a fascinating insight into the cultural history and fashions of the time.

This original hand-made group comprises a watercolour portrait of a young lady with ‘Grecian’ styled hair and dress together with seven colourful dresses, some with hats, that are cleverly designed to be overlaid on the portrait. These are labelled Queen’s Dress, Shepherdess, Virgin of the Sun, Winter Dress, Spanish Dress, Ball Dress and Turkish Dress.

The figure is painted on card; the costumes on lighter weight paper that is watermarked ‘BARNARD 1816’. They all show light browning and dust-soiling consistent with age but are generally in good condition.

Item Ref. 6520

Size: Main figure, 164 x 131 (6½ x 5⅜")