Sunday, April 19, 2009

Question from Liz - Toys of Henry's daughters

This may be a silly question, but did Henry VIII's daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, play with dolls? Are there any of thier toys still around?


Anonymous said...

I have no information on the princess's but Arabella Stuart grand daughter to Bess of Hardwick is shown holding a doll dated 1577 when she is nearly two its an unknown artist and my picture is from tha book art of dress, but i am sure it will be on the web somewhere

Lady Hobby

Bearded Lady said...

Great question! I am really hoping someone will answer it because I have always wondered it myself.

Dolls in the 15th century and early 16th century were typically used as models of the latest fashions. Example- Francis I would request dolls made showing the latest Italian fashions so that these fashions could be copied on a larger scale. I am not sure when or if they were considered "toys"?

Anonymous said...

I have found you the picture of Arabella on line holding her doll

there are more children on it none at first glance holding toys just animals or rattles. pictures were not only to show the person but to tell the person looking at it there status also they had lots of hidden meanings.
in Elizabeths aged 9 she has her hand on a book showing that she was a good shcoller also its belived to be the bible showing that she was embrasing the new religion. one of these day i will read up more on the meanings of these pictures.
Arabella even at this age was being treated as a princess by Bess who had big plans for her from before she was born.

Lady Hobby

Anonymous said...

Two dolls were described in an inventory of items in the possession of Lady Jane Grey/Dudley as Queen. One was dressed in red satin and one in white velvet. I am sure the Tudor sisters would have played with dolls as children - perhaps even these dolls, which were lent around.

Foose said...

There is a picture of Isabella of Austria (Ysabeau), mother of Christina of Denmark (avidly pursued by Henry in the late 1530s as a possible bride), as a toddler, clutching a doll -- rather a 16th-century "Barbie" type of doll, considering that it's a fully grown-up court lady in elaborate dress. It looks like it was painted as part of a set with portraits of her brother Charles V and sister Eleanor of Austria, but Isabella's image is the only one to exhibit a charming informality because of the toy.