Historical information

In 'Underwear: Fashion in Detail' (Lynn, Eleri, V&A Publishing, 2014) the chapter on 'Decoration' includes a contemporary quote by the fashion writer Mrs Eric Pritchard, who stated that even the virtuous woman should now wear pretty underwear, and in fact was morally bound to do so to remain attractive to her husband and save him from the sin of adultery. This prettiness included 'underwear that became decorative and delicate, trimmed with the lace and baby-ribbon that complemented the Edwardian predilection for indulgent and seductive lingerie' (Lynn, Eleri, p.46). This bodice and Director Knickers formed part of the trousseau of Margaret Grace Burland, who married John Lawrence Henty Hindson at St George’s Church, Malvern in 1912.


The Henty Collection of nineteenth and twentieth century clothing, including outerwear and underwear, was collected, stored and exhibited over time by female family members descended from Francis and Mary Ann Henty. During the twentieth century, items from the collection were modelled in two fashion parades by various descendants [1937, 1959]. The items in the collection are historically and aesthetically significant, with provenance provided by oral and written tradition within or held by the family. A number of the items in the collection are very rare survivors, and provide researchers with the evidence needed to reconstruct the lives of notable women in the Port Phillip District [later Victoria] during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Physical description

Cotton lingerie including a camisole and drawers owned by Grace Burland, and forming part of her trousseau. Fine lawn, lace, blue silk ribbon threaded through at neck and waist, embroidered, concealed buttons at front (some missing) and rear buttoned flap. Distinguishing feature is the extensive use of lace which was an innovation in taste during the Edwardian period.

Inscriptions & markings