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Dress - Day dress

From the Collection of Brighton Historical Society First Floor Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

A grey-green circa 1878 dress comprising a matching jacket and skirt.

The jacket features a standing collar that gathers to a low point at the throat. This point is concealed behind a bow with raw edges which may not be original. The centre front of the jacket has been secured with nineteen concealed metal hook and button holes. The centre front features fifteen sets of single fabric covered glass buttons secured in a diagonal pattern and appearing as double headed buttons. From the shoulder through the body the jacket is shaped with decorative panels with grey silk detail. Beside these panels shaping into the waist and under the arm are a further two pleats. On the left side waist is a small pocket with decorative flap, grey silk trim and button. The base line of the jacket features a decorative horizontal panel that wraps around the jacket. The sleeve head is small and sits on the natural shoulder line with a slim fitting, curved, full length sleeve. At the base of the sleeve, there is a decorative panel reminiscent of a formal cuff, with a decorative turn back and two buttons. Secured underneath this turn back is a bow like decoration. From the back the jacket features a V shaped decoration, an extension of the front two decorative panels. From the shoulders the jacket is shaped by four panels curving tight into the waist and flaring out again to fullness of the bustle. These seams are also finished with decorative binding. This peplum-like shape features two decorative flaps and six covered buttons.

The skirt is shaped to the waist with pleats and secures on the front left hand side, the original waistband and fastenings have been replaced. The skirt front features a large decorative panel of the same fabric that curves from the front at approximately shin length, upwards towards the back securing underneath the bustle decoration. A second panel, plus a pleated panel finish the hem of the skirt continuing around to the back. At the back the skirt features two deep pleats with a large decorative bow that would sit out over the bustle. The skirt is long featuring a small train at the back. The dress is lined in a brown waxed cotton.
Object Registration
wedding dress, 1870s fashion, marion jane ellen stokes, oliver devlin, margaret carr, gustavus cocking, bendigo
Historical information
This dress is of uncertain provenance.

BHS records indicate that it was owned by Marion Jane Ellen Devlin, nee Stokes (1845-1936), who married Oliver Devlin on 2 April 1877 in Victoria. The dress is believed to have been worn on the Bendigo goldfields circa 1878. It may have been worn as a wedding dress.

However, additional documentation discovered in August 2019 suggest that the dress belonged to Margaret Cocking, nee Carr (1850-1936), who married Gustavus Cocking in Bendigo in 1877.
When Made
circa 1878
Last updated
12 Aug 2019 at 4:34PM