Australian dress register ID:136
Owner:Quirindi and District Historical Society
Date range:1855 - 1883
Place of origin:Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
The dress is made of Silk Taffeta in a plum blue colour that changes when the light hits the material or as you move around the room.
The dress was the "best" dress of the owner and not necessarily a wedding dress.
The dress was worn for a second time by the daughter of the original owner and would have sentimental value for her because her Mother had previously passed away.
A parasol was made for the wedding of the daughter, Isabella. We also have in our possession at the museum, spectacles worn by Isabella and the case.
The dress was worn a third time by the granddaughter at her wedding and would be more sentimental for her wearing her grandmother`s and mother`s wedding dress. Author: Quirindi and District Historical Society inc, 19th March 2010.
Purple silk taffeta gown, long sleeves, double row of fringed ribbon at cuff, round neck, short front opening, long back opening to waist, V-shaped waistline at front. Floor length. Lined with linen-type fabric. Back slightly longer than front.
History and Provenance
Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information
The published family history (qv) states that Mary Ann died in 1867, so when Isabella wore the dress 1885 it was in memory of a mother who had died when she was 4 years old (born 1863).
Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?
The Porter family became important in the Quirindi district. Many descendants still in the area.
How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?
Example of clothing in rural Australia mid-19th Century. Re-use indicates family sentiment and possibly thrift. Illustrates hand sewing of the period.
Where did this information come from?
Family history of Porter family.
Place of origin:
Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Could be researched.
Mary Anne Moore in 1855, her daughter Isabella Porter in 1883 and her Granddaughter Mary Ann Schofield in 1905.
Their weddings in 1855, 1883 & 1905.
Mary Ann Moore with assistance?
Mary Ann Moore
Trimmings / Decoration
Ribbon with fringe attached on cuffs and neck opening
On neck edge and waistline
Fine tucking at front, fanning outwards towards shoulders
|Hem circumference||2900 mm|
|Front neck to hem||1450 mm|
|Front waist to hem||8300 mm|
|Back waist to hem||9600 mm|
|Sleeve length||510 mm|
|Neck to sleeve head||190 mm|
|Convert to inches|
Shoulder to waist: 480 mm.
V at front shortens front length.
The dress was first worn as a wedding dress when Mary Anne Moore married John Henry Porter at Wollombi Church of England on 30th April 1855. In 1883 it was again worn by Isabella, Mary Ann's eldest daughter when she married George Schofield at Quirindi.
This dress was also worn by Isabella Porter`s daughter, Mary Ann Elizabeth Schofield, on the occasion of her wedding to James Clarke, 1905, Quirindi NSW.
Articles, publications, diagrams and receipts descriptions
Newspaper article attached "107 Years Old Wedding Gown" Quirindi Advocate Feb. 8, 1972
Part of journal article attached "Historical Notes" Vol ll No. 6 1975
Other related objects
Parasol purchased for second wedding (Isabella's, 1883). Brown silk self-patterned floral decoration with fringe sewn on by hand. probably to match fringe on dress, folding handle.
Spectacles and spectacle case worn by Isabella Porter, labelled 'Harvey Bros. Opthalmic Opticians, Quirindi'
Slight evidence of repair
Evidence of repairs
Perspiration marks under arms
A few small tear marks esp. 5cm tear at back seam
Fringes at front worn
Frayed at neck, waistline at back and shoulders
Small holes could be insect damage
Iron mould in lining of skirt