Earlier this year, one of On the Tudor Trail’s readers, Dawn, was filmed for the new series of Antiques Roadshow at Cawdor Castle, with a small part of her collection of Tudor costume dolls, made by Peggy Nisbet.
Dawn’s impressive collection ranges from dolls made in the 1950s to the early 1990s and includes standard dolls, those where all faces are the same, and portrait dolls, where the creator has tried to capture a likeness of the person.
Dawn has been collecting for over six years now and has many of the big names of Tudor history in her collection, including Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth of York, Catherine of Aragon, Cardinal Wolsey, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, Katherine Parr, Mary Tudor (Henry’s sister) and Elizabeth I.
Apart from the Tudor dolls, there are two other wonderful items worth noting; the first is an original ‘working copy’ print of a costume designed by John Bloomfield, for the BBC Series ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’. Australian actor Keith Michell, who played Henry VIII in this series made in the early 1970s, wore it.
The second is as above, but this time the costume is for Anne of Cleves, worn by the English actress, Elvi Hale.
Designer, John Bloomfield, spent many months researching Tudor costumes and used some ingenious methods to achieve the ‘Tudor look’.
“The authentic appearance of the court costumes was achieved by the ingenuity of designer John Bloomfield, who used painted cheap fabrics, glass and household washers to achieve the sumptuous period effect. Such was the interest in the programme that the costumes went on tour. The international success of Henry VIII led to the making of Elizabeth R, and established the BBC’s position as the pre-eminent producer of period drama.”
How I would love to own such wonderful items!