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Doll's shift

Doll's shift

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1690-1730 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Purchased by public subscription

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a linen shift made for a doll, between ca.1690 and 1730. Although it came with the Lady Clapham doll, it is too large to actually fit her, and probably once belonged to another doll.

Physical description

Doll's nightshift of linen with short sleeves and an untrimmed low, square-cut neckline with cord ties for adjustment (larger and of heavier quality than the one actually worn by the doll). There are gores at each side of the hem and eyelet holes for a cuff fastening.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1690-1730 (made)



Materials and Techniques


Object history note

This shift came with Lady Clapham, but is too large for her and probably belonged to another doll.

Historical context note

Dolls were widely produced in the 17th century, although very few survive. It is most unlikely that these particular examples were the playthings of children. Their production is of a high quality; almost all the accessories survive and there is little wear and tear on the dolls and their garments. The dolls were most probably purchased for the amusement of adults, and as a decorative accessory to a home.

Descriptive line

Doll's shift of linen, British, 1690-1730




Hand sewing


Dolls & Toys; British Galleries; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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