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Dress - Fancy 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

Description
A dress consisting of bodice and skirt. The bodice is made from beige silk with sprays of red and blue flowers and originally laced down the centre front with pink ribbon. The lower part of the bodice is modelled on a late 18th century polonaise design. The bodice is boned and features waist tapes.
The elbow length sleeves are finished with beige hand made Maltese lace featuring Maltese crosses. The mid calf length skirt is made from pale pink silk which has been quilted and lined to create a stiffened form.
There is a piece of scrap floral fabric that is the same as the bodice fabric.
Links
Object Registration
T0013.1.1-3
Keywords
dolly varden, ida burn, marjorie wallace, barnaby rudge, charles dickens
Historical information
This dress is a 'Dolly Varden' or 'shepherdess" style costume worn by Ida Burn (1890 - 1976) on a sea voyage to China accompanying her parents in 1911. The BHS has a photo of Ida wearing this dress when she was a guest at a dance for young people given by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne (possibly T.J. Davey). This party may have been held on the ship or it may have been a seperate event. This style dress was a popular choice for fancy dress in the late 1890's and early 1900's.
Family information states that the silk for this dress was purchased by Ida and Marjorie's grandfather's sister (great aunt) in England in c1840. The dress was donated by Marjorie Wallace (née Burn) (1901 - 1999), Ida's sister. Marjorie did not accompany the family to China but stayed home with a Governess. Marjorie lived in Brighton between 1923 and c1950 and attended Firbank Church of england Girls grammar School.
These records are from a conversation between a B.H.S representative and Marjorie Wallace in Aug 2002.
When Made
c1911
Significance
This style of costume is named after the character Dolly Varden in Charles Dickens, 'Barnaby Rudge' 1841. In c1872 Dolly Varden inspired costumes and paraphernalia were very popular craze.
Last updated
21 Mar 2018 at 2:47PM