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Object: Doll’s armour

This image is All rights reserved. Image © Te Papa

Title Doll’s armour
Production Television New Zealand, 1974-1988, New Zealand
Materials cardboard, feather, paint
Classification costume, armors, doll accessories
Dimensions Overall: 375mm (Height) x 170mm (Width) x 127mm (Depth)
Credit line Gift of Television New Zealand, 2005
Registration number GH014715

Hardly a knight in shining armour, this tiny suit is made to simulate iron.

Silver-coloured painted cardboard tubes and pieces obviously wouldn’t have offered much in the way of safety in combat. Real European armour was made up of plates using a number of materials, most commonly iron, or steel, or hardened leather. The plates provided protection from lethal weapons of war or jousting.

This cardboard armour, however, suits its purpose: it was made for the children’s television programme Play School, which aired in New Zealand from 1975 to 1990.

Play School was originally a BBC production in the United Kingdom. The New Zealand version was adapted for the local audience, with content relevant to New Zealand children including a Mäori toy called Manu. The Play School toys - Big Ted, Little Ted, Jemima, Humpty and Manu - are instantly recognisable by New Zealanders who grew up in the 1970s to 1990s. Te Papa has all the toys apart from Little Ted.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.