Historical information

Alonzo Box, of Oakleigh ,a nephew of William and Elizabeth Box who resided in 'Box Cottage' 1865 - 1914, married Mary Closter (Kloster), of Oakleigh, on June 12th 1918. Alozo's elder sister, Rebecca, sent a bolt of Chinese hand-embroidered silk from which this wedding dress was made. Rebecca Viloudakia, nee Box, was a missionary in China, and married to a Greek Silk Merchant.
Alonzo Box, the 9th child of John and Martha Sheldrake Box , enlisted in the Army and landed at Gallipoli 25/4/1918. He was evacuated to Egypt and then sent to the battlefields of France and Flanders before returning home to Melbourne in February 1918.
Rebecca Box, the eldest child of John and Martha Sheldrake Box, was in the first party of Methodist Missionaries to leave Australia for the China Inland Mission in 1890. During the Boxer Uprising 1900-1901 her Mission outpost was attacked but she escaped and was taken to Shanghai. She later married one of the rescue party Nicholas Viloudakia a Greek silk merchant .


Australian Dress Register ID 573 12/5/2015
Following Henry Dendy's Special Survey 1841 pioneer settlers bought allotments of land in the area of Moorabbin Parish. Alonzo Box was the nephew of William and Elizabeth Box who bought the cottage on the 30acre allotment from an unknown pioneer settler in 1868 and resided there until Elizabeth's death in 1914.
Alonzo Box served in the Army World War 1 1914- 1918 at Gallipoli, France and Flanders.
Rebecca Box -Viloudakia was in the first party of Methodist Missionaries to leave Australia for the China Inland Mission in 1890 and was rescued during the Boxer Rebellion 1900-1901 and taken to Shanghai by her future husband.

Physical description

A cream two piece wedding dress made from a bolt of hand embroidered Chinese silk for the marriage of Mary Closter and Alonzo Box on June 12th, 1918.
The bolt of Chinese silk was sent by Alonzo’s older sister, Mrs Rebecca Viloudakia, a missionary in China, who was married to a Greek silk merchant. The machine sewn dress was made by a dressmaker in Dandenong, Victoria.
The jacket is blouson, with a front opening and is gathered at the waist by a band enclosing a drawstring. The collar is a sailor style that forms a slight / high V-shape front neckline. Four vertical roses are separated by three bands of lacework. The back of the jacket is plain silk.
The right front of the jacket has a panel of embroidered roses, band of lacework and a facing fold that encloses 4 fastening presses. There are crocheted bobbles on the front representing buttons. The left jacket front also has the panel of embroidered roses, lacework and matching fold for the 4 fastening studs.
The full length inset sleeves are gathered to a cuff that fastens with silk covered buttons. The sleeves have floral embroidery down the outside centre line. The left sleeve has an extra detachable cuff with embroidery on the flounce that matches the bottom panel of the skirt. It is held in position around the wrist by 4 white metal press studs.
The skirt sits above the ankle. It consists of 5 panels slightly gathered at the back waistline with a left side placket 21cm with hooks and eyes and press studs. The waistband is lined with petersham and has 6 whalebone inserts. The front of the skirt has small pleats to fit the 3 decorated panels to the waistline. The front has 3 bands of lacework around the lower part. 3 panels form the centre front each embroidered with a different floral pattern. The back of the skirt is plain with 3 bands of lacework rising from the hem, which is sewn with spoke work stitch.
The long waist sash/belt is plain silk with embroidered ends and 3 silk balls with crocheted caps suspended on 3 crocheted silk chains. It has a rose knot with 2 metal press stud fasteners.
There are a variety of floral designs embroidered on the material including ‘corner motifs’ on the 2nd inner front panel of skirt.