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National Museum of Australia

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Black, velvet spotted, full length, short sleeved dress


Black, velvet spotted, full length, short sleeved dress

Object information

Physical description

A black, velvet spotted, full length, short sleeved dress, featuring an intricately adorned bodice and back of lace, velvet and beads. The waist band has a material flower in the centre front and the front of the skirt crosses over on the diagonal and is held in place with a covered buckle at the hip. The dress is hand-made with a sewing machine.

Statement of significance

This collection includes a suite of eighteen items of womens' clothing and accessories typical of Edwardian fashion (1900 -c.1914). Particular Edwardian items include two black skirt and blouse sets, two blouses, a petticoat, two evening dresses, two driving jackets and driving hats, an opera jacket, a parasol and a pair of gloves. A linen nursing pinafore, two items of infant's clothing and a flapper's dress are also included. All items, except the flapper's dress, are in excellent condition.

The wearer of the Edwardian clothing and nursing pinafore was a Tasmanian woman named Mary Massey. She was the matron-in-charge at a quarantine hospital during the 1903 smallpox out break in Launceston. The clothing in the collection reflects Mary's comfortable station in life, a range of activities undertaken by her, and her competance outside the domestic realm.

Object information

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