Just a quick interlude from the London Review today, i will get back onto it tomorrow, but i found this little article on the history of mannequins at fashionwindows.com and found it rather enlightening!
Dressmaker forms have been around since the time of the Egyptian pharoahs. It is documented that when Carter opened King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, he discovered a wooden torso not far from a clothing chest. Dating from 1350 B.C., it may have been the world's first dress form. (From Smithsonian Magazine)
After the dress form, history has been a little sketchy. The next documented story was in 1396. It is said that Charles VI of France was involved in peace negotiations with King Richard II of England.
Henry IV of France dispatched miniature, elegantly attired dolls to his fiancée, Marie de' Medici of Florence, to update her on French trends.
And Marie Antoinette kept her mother and sisters in Austria apprised of the latest vogues at Versailles with the elaborately clothed figures she regularly sent them.
During the 1700s, "fashion dolls" were used to spread the "latest fashion." With its size ranging from 1 inches, to lifesize, historians agree that the fashion dolls were the progenitor of the modern mannequin.
Very few fashion dolls exist today, because they were reused until they are literally in tatters, or given to a child as a toy.
During the Middle Ages, France was a fashion capital, as it is today. Hence, the French is sometimes credited with the creation of the first full-figured mannequin.