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Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Historical Society was founded in March, 1963 for the purposes of forming a historical society in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Today the Society has about 200 members.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 266 Brighton Victoria 3186 (map)
phone
+61 03 9553 8650

Contact

Opening Hours

The rooms are open to visitors & researchers on Thursdays, from 12 noon to 5:00 pm

Entry Fee

Entry is free. We undertake email and written research requests for a fee of $20 per hour which includes photocopying and postage

Location

First Floor Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

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The Bayside community is fortunate to have an extensive collection of costume, representing social life and fashions in our local area from early settlement through to the modern day. Our costume collection is of State significance and is the most comprehensive collection of costume in any historical society or small museum in Victoria. 

The collection includes children’s wear, evening gowns, dresses, hats, gloves, shawls, nightgowns, underwear, menswear, fans, shoes, swimwear and handbags. 

The Brighton Historical Society will loan costume to recognised organisations that use current conservation techniques. We have previously loaned items to the Bayside Council for an exhibition at the Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre and to the National Trust for exhibitions at Rippon Lea and Como House. 

We welcome donations to our costume collection. Items are assessed and accepted on the basis of their relevance to the ongoing history of the area, their connection to Brighton or their rarity.

History
Costume has been donated since the Society began in 1963. Some was even purchased in the days when Victorian items were still to be found on sale in local op shops. The origins and size of the collection are attributable to the foresight of the founder of the BHS, Mrs Rosalind Landells OAM. 

In the early days little was known of conservation techniques but as time progressed and we became aware of the treasures held, methods were implemented by volunteers to care for the costumes in the best way possible using available funds. 

Four conservation friendly wardrobes were purchased from the Performing Arts Museum to house the collection and later a Bayside Council Grant enabled us to have six more wardrobes built. Volunteers triple washed unbleached calico in pure Lux soap flakes before sewing covers for costumes and for coat hangers. Some acid free boxes were purchased from Zetta Florence to store our most important items. 

Thanks to a 2017 Local History Grant from the Public Record Office Victoria, we have been able to further improve our collection storage and records, and share more of our fascinating costume with the public. Items are continually being added to Victorian Collections, and a community workshop is being planned.

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116 items

Dressing gown

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Crazy patchwork dressing gown made from a patchwork beadspread. Made from irregular pieces of silk, satin, velvet and brocades and embellished with embroidered and painted motifs. Fully lined with maroon silk. Neckline trimmed with thick silk cord. Right over left fastening with two large metal press studs. One of the pieces on the back has an inscription dated 11/7/94 (1894).

Historical information

Made by the family, friends, relatives and guests of William and Polly Hodgens, owners of the Adelphi Hotel near Montague Station, South Melbourne. Later demolished by Victorian Railways.

Hat - Top hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black plush silk top hat with cream silk lining and leather and padded cloth interior bands. Black wool band.

Historical information

Established in 1773, Christys' still manufactures men's hats.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed in blue on crown silk lining: ENGLISH MANUFACTURE / CHRISTYS' LONDON'

Bodice

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream silk satin evening bodice from c.1865. This bodice features a very low, wide scooped neckline with a set in sleeve and four small pleats across the head of the shoulder. The elbow length, straight fitted sleeves are trimmed with a pleated ruffle that extends around the arm finishing at the elbow crease at the inside arm and tapering to mid forearm length at the back. The fitted bodice, lined with waxed linen, fastens down the centre front with eight covered buttons of the bodice fabric. The front two panels wrap around the sides of the bodice to meet another series of panels creating a princess line with a delineated central spine. The waist position is just below the natural waist at the sides, tapering to an elongated front covering the belly. From the sides towards the back it curves up to the natural waistline and then down again to a central point. The bodice is decorated with strips of the same fabric, which has been tucked, pleated and padded to create ruching. The ruching edge has a multi coloured thread, suggestive of rosettes, on both sides. In the front of the bodice, a strip runs down the centre front, concealing the buttonholes, and finishing at the elongated point. It then goes up the bodice over the bust line where it meets the neckline. It follows the neckline around the nape of the neck and back down the front over the bust line to the centre front. More strips run around the base of the fitted sleeve near the elbow above the ruffle. The rosette like coloured thread finishes the base of the ruffle.

Historical information

A bodice belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Sash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream coloured Miss Young Liberal sash printed in metallic gold and with gold-coloured fringing at either end.

Historical information

Donated by Brighton resident and journalist Janifer Price.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed, metallic gold on white acetate: Miss / YOUNG LIBERAL / 1966

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from cream silk purchased in China. The bodice is made of fine silk embroidered tulle with a vest of cream silk that floats over the top. The skirt has been permanently pleated, has has floating side panels of tulle and features a large butterfly-shaped bow at the back.

Historical information

Worn by Elizabeth Goodwin of Liverpool, England, who married Horace Book at St Andrew's Church, Brighton. The fabric was purchased by her father, who was a ship's captain when he was in China. The bride had her dress made in Liverpool and made to a Butterick's pattern. Elizabeth was very active in public life and a well-known member of the Book family.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Red, white and black cotton halter neck dress with rows of pin tucking on the bodice and applied horizontal strips of red and black cotton and black lace to the skirt.

Historical information

Mary Owen OAM (1921-2017) purchased this dress in 1975 in Mexico while attending the first International Women's Conference and wore it to the reception there. A dedicated feminist, unionist and activist, she was a vocal campaigner for the empowerment of women, particularly in the fight for equal pay. Mary's involvement in activism began in 1966 when she joined the staff of the Association of Architects, Engineers & Draughtsmen (AAESDA), where she was responsible for advertising, layout and proofreading editorial for its journal 'Blueprint'. Her contact with the union awoke an interest in women's rights in the workplace, and in 1969 after she joined Dr Bertram Wainer's Progressive Reform Party, which advocated for legalised abortion. She joined the Women's Electoral Lobby in 1972 and remained an active member for over forty-three years, representing the WEL on many government committees. She was a founding co-coordinator of the Working Women's Centre Melbourne from 1975 until 1986, a founding member of EMILY's List Australia, an early member of the Melbourne Press Club and an early supporter of the Australian Women's Archives Project. An annual Mary Owen Dinner was held in her honour for twenty years from 1986 until 2007, which brought together hundreds of women each year. Mary was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Order of Australia Medal in 1984. She was added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2001.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Disenado con carino por / GEORGIA CHARUHAS / HECHO / EN MEXICO Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Gerorgia's / BOUTIQUE LAS MARIPOSAS / Designer: / Georgia Charuhas / MERIDA YUCATAN, MEXICO

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Ankle-length full cream linen skirt with multi-coloured cross stitch embroidery featuring mountains, birds and trees. Fullness is pleated into wide waist band. Left side opening. The fabric widths have been whipped together by hand probably at the time the cloth was woven in the late-nineteenth century. The skirt is machine stitched.

Historical information

Cream linen woven by donor Olga Black's great-grandmother Efstathia from flax grown on the island of Ithaca. The fabric was later made into skirt and hand embroidered by Olga in the 1950s. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930.

Hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Woven turquoise silk taffeta turban style ladies hat with half bow, circa 1960s. White mesh interior with teal grosgrain binding, thin black elastic band.

Historical information

This hat belonged to Mrs Mayra Rasmussen who lived at 389 St Kilda Street, Brighton. She lived there for over 50 years with her husband Rae Rasmussen, manager with the State Bank of Victoria.

Significance

The Mooney sisters, Nell and Ida, were situated beside the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, Melbourne and were well respected milliners and dressmakers. The hat's style is typical of the 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white: MISSES MOONEY / OF MELBOURNE

Bonnet - Mourning bonnet

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Navy, silk velvet, mourning bonnet with black silk train, circa 1915. The bonnet’s shape is created by a horseshoe shaped rib that sits across the crown of the head and shapes in to cover and conceal the back of the head. Across the crown, the bonnet features a navy silk velvet bow. The veil is constructed from a very fine black corded silk and hangs to approximately just below the wearer’s bottom.

Historical information

Brighton Historical Society records indicate this bonnet was worn at the death of Isabella Black in 1912. Other records held place Isabella Black's death to be in 1915. This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners, presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt, donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A grey green c1878 dress comprising of 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.

Historical information

Our records indicate that this dress was owned by Marion Jeanne Stokes (1877 - 1936) nee Wooling from Gisborne. Marion was married to Clive Devlin.

Significance

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Bendigo goldfields in c1878. This dress may have been worn as a wedding dress.

Inscriptions & Markings

n/a

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Printed cotton maxi dress with long sleeves. Print of red, navy, white and green spots. Shirtmaker front which fastens with three covered buttons.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven maroon on cream acetate, centre back: Imported / from Italy / BY GEORGES / OF COLLINS STREET

Pelerine

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin, lace and beaded pelerine from c.1890. The pelerine features a silk high stand collar covered in black lace. It secures around the neck and down the centre front to the waist by seven hook and eye closures. A black lace frill extends down the centre front from the throat to the centre front tip of the garment. The shoulders feature a heavy, intricately beaded floral design open sleeve through which the arm would be visible. The sleeve finishes around the elbow in a point, however the beading hangs down to below the hip in a loose fringe. At the back of the garment from below the shoulder the garment shapes in to finish in a tapered v – shape over the wearers coccyx.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners, presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt, donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

This item is from the estate of Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard. “Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Inscriptions & Markings

There is a hand stitched M in white thread on the inside lining of the pelerine near the neck.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Strapless pink organza cocktail-length dress. Finely pleated bodice and skirt laid on to a heavy vilene. Decorated around the waist with pink organza flowers and two bands of pink satin, one around the bodice and the other around the lower part of the skirt.

Historical information

Belonged to Louris White whose wedding dress from 1948 is also in the collection. Louris and her husband lived in Brighton.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: printed black on cream acetate side front bodice: Original / Margeaux / REGD. / of Melbourne / IMPORTED FABRIC

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand and machine sewn cream, pale blue, orange and gold embroidered satin formal dress, the bodice dates from circa 1890. This dress shares a skirt with T0004.3, which dates from a different period. The bodice features a high scoop neckline with gathers at the base of the scoop and directly below where the bodice finishes creating fullness over the bust. The bodice front encloses the bust with a right panel over the top of a left panel and securing with two hook and eye closures over the left shoulder. The panels are secured together with 15 hook and eye closures. The sleeves are set neatly on the true shoulder and are elongated full puffs to just above the elbow. The fullness is created by nine pleats from the top of the shoulder over the back of the shoulder. At the base of the sleeve the fullness is gathered just above the elbow. At the centre back of the bodice are four inward facing pleats running from the centre neck to the waist. The bodice is secured around the waist with a tape and four hook and eye closures. The bodice is boned around the sides and back of the torso with eight bones. This bodice is finished at the waist with a pleated cummerbund of the dress fabric that is designed to appear to be a sash with two decorative bows. One front left of centre and one back right of centre. The skirt secures at the waist with an opening to the left of centre at the back. The skirt gathers tightly at the centre back with a dart on either side. The skirt has a front central panel and the skirt falls to floor length. At the back, the skirt is also floor length. The back of the skirt may have been modified at some time and may have originally finished in a train. It would be more appropriate to the period of the bodice, and the believed use of the dress with a train.

Historical information

The donor and family of these gowns were long term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. The gowns are believed to have been brought to Australia by a half brother James Smith Adams or a younger sister Sophia, of the understood original owners of these dresses, Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams, although they travelled to Australia separately. Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a Squire) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester. A property which Elizabeth Emma later inherited. Elizabeth Emma Adams was born on 30th June 1828 at Tower House, Woodchester, Gloucester, England and died on 1st May 1909. Elizabeth created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18, a marriage thats validity was later formally investigate and confirmed as valid but a second church wedding was also held. Thomas Charles Gardiner died in 1878. She subsequently remarried Rev. R.E. Blackwell but was widowed again by 1889. Cecelia Elizabeth Adams was born on 17th December 1826 and died in 1902 a spinster recluse in England. At the inquest into Cecelia's death in 1904 it was revealed that she had clearly come from a family of means as her home was filled to the brim with highly valuable goods, many in boxes. She was buried in the family vault at Woodchester. James Smith Adams was christened on 25th December 1780 at Woodchester and died 19 March 1860. His wife Elizabeth Emma McTaggart was born on 21st April 1793 in Calcutta and died on 23/12/1843. Elisabeth Emma's second son, George Henry Somerset who inherited the Adams family estate dropped the i in Gardiner and added the maiden name of his grandmother. Therefore the family name has now become Gardner McTaggart. Tower House, originally a monastery was converted into a stately home after The Reformation. Sophia Adams became a nun in England in 1851 before migrating to Australia. In 1883 Sophia went to Adelaide and founded a Dominican Priory there (Believed to be St. Dominic's Priory in North Adelaide), using her inheritance to build the Priory's Chapel.

Significance

According to information originally provided by the donor, these two gowns were made for Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, to be worn at the young Queen Victoria’s first “Drawing Room Ball” following the end of court mourning in 1838 for her uncle William IV who died in 1837. In 1838 Cecelia would have been 12 years old and Elizabeth Emma would have been 10 years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.2 was worn by one of the girls to this event. The dress is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age although it’s design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore dress T0004.1 due to the size and styling of the dress. It is likely that the dress belonged to one of the girls but was worn at a later date. After the death of the girls mother their Uncle James McTaggert gave the girls much of his attention and may have taken one or both of them to such an event. These Adams family entries have been updated by information provided by Dr.Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggert contacted the society after finding our entries online. Some further information is held by the society.

Night gown

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn ivory cotton muslin nightgown, c.1842–1850. The bodice is made of delicately embroidered muslin in a floral design. The open flat collar features a scalloped lace frill underneath. The bodice fastens with thirteen mother of pearl buttons down the centre front. After the fourth button, the remaining buttons are concealed beneath a full gathered modesty skirt, which falls from just below the bust line. The modesty panel is secured horizontally across the bodice by six mother of pearl buttons. The sleeves finish over the back and palm of the hand in two flattened peaks. The front of the gown consisting of the modesty front is full length. The modesty gown at both sides joins two panels that are an integrated part of the bodice. At the centre back there is a very full gathered panel with lace trim that falls to create a train. It is semi attached to the bodice with a top section secured with mother of pearl buttons and small ties. The purpose of this design feature is unknown.

Historical information

This nightgown is believed to have belonged to Mrs Thomas Anne Ward Cole, an early Brighton resident and wife of George Ward Cole. The item appears to have been made or altered to accommodate a pregnant belly, however purpose made maternity clothing was not common at this time. Mrs Ward-Cole’s six pregnancies took place in 1843, 1844, 1845, 1847, 1849 and 1851. The style of this garment in particular the shape of the sleeves would indicate that it is most likely to have been constructed in circa 1860, so whilst it appears to be a maternity item, and historically has been referred to as thus, this purpose cannot be confirmed. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished

Garters - Wedding garters

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pale blue wedding garter featuring a pale pink bow and cream lace edging. Date unknown.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. The garters come from the wedding trosseau of Cora Doris Halkyard, nee Wrigley, who married Arthur John Stanley Halkyard in 1912. The couple lived at Barone, a stately house at 9 Moule Avenue, from around 1951 until 1970. Barone was demolished in 1986. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. Described as the last owner of Barone on donation slip. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece women's suit made of maroon corded silk; comprising fitted jacket and straight skirt. Jacket fastens with one large black faceted glass button. Jacket lined with pink satin; skirt unlined.

Historical information

The suit was tailor-made for the dancer Vija Vetra who lived at the Old Hall (now nos. 93-95) Bay Street, Brighton. Vetra arrived in Australia as a refugee in the late 1940s. She was a teacher of Indian and Spanish dancing. In late 1965 Vetra went to America intending to return, but crossed to Europe and never returned to Australia. Vetra was Latvian by birth. She ran a dance academy at 97 Bay Street, Brighton.

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue cotton circular skirt with white cord design of men and women dancing around the hem. Fastens with a metal sip in left proper side seam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed red on cream cotton, centre back: Milton Harding / MELBOURNE / GUARANTEED TAILORED / & HAND FINISHED (image of skirt)

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A white, mauve, purple, red, and green paisley / floral printed cotton day dress from circa 1820. The day dress features a wide scooped neckline, with a dropped shoulder line. At the head of the sleeve is has three lines of gathering creating a narrow arm hole around the shoulder, flaring out into a leg of mutton sleeve. The sleeve finishes neatly at the wrist with a cuff that secures with two brass hook and eye closures. The dress bodice is open at the centre front and secures with six hook and eye closures to the empire line waist. Over the breast on either side of the opening are six diagonal pleats, pressed and secured facing towards the neck. This pleated detail is on a facing that extends from shoulder to shoulder and finishes with a bound edge. The remainder of the front bodice is plain and secures to the skirt at the empire waistline. The skirt pleats onto a binding, wrapping around the torso and securing to the bodice with eight hook closures. At approximately knee, height the skirt has an additional gathered flounce with the dress finishing at approximately ankle length. From the back, the bodice is plain and the skirt is gathered and sewn to the bodice at Empire line. Alterations to the garment have been made with the addition of hooks and eyes. The garment is generally in good condition although the skirt at the front shows evidence of damage and subsequent repair.

Historical information

This dress has had three owners documented by letters as it was passed between Reynolds family members as a family heirloom before being donated to the Brighton Historical Society. It was made in England circa 1820 according to one of these letters received with the dress from the donor. However, the dress style appears more indicative of the late 1820’s.

Significance

The donor of this dress donated this dress accompanied by three letters between family members as the dress was passed from generation to generation. These letters paint a picture of the significance of this dress within this family and its journey from England to Australia. In these letters there are also comments of gentle guidance as to how to dress your hair and accessorize appropriately with this dress. The letters are also held at Brighton Historical Society.

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream doeskin leather shoes with glass and metal bead floral decoration on vamp and decorative bow.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label stamped in gold on sock (inside lining): FROM / R. White / Melbourne

Dress and shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Floral cotton dress with matching belt and shoes. Sleeveless polished cotton cream dress with large red, pink and brown rose print. Heavily ruched front. The skirt has an in-built crinoline structure made with thick Vielene lining and corded hoops. Separate belt with bow at centre front. Shoes made to match by 'Suzette' in their original box. .1- dress .2 - belt .3 a-b - pair of shoes .4 a-b - shoe box and lid

Historical information

The dress was made for the Miss Summer Festival competition fundraiser. The idea for the dress came from a photograph in the Womens' Weekly. A professional dressmaker cut and made the dress. It has an 18" waist.There is a black and white photocopy on file of the dress being worn at the time.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shoes - Label, printed in gold on white leather in sock: Suzette / Styled in / NEW YORK-PARIS-ST. LOUIS

Dress - Afternoon dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A salmon (pale orange pink) corded silk afternoon dress with orange beaded embellishments, consisting of a bodice and skirt from c.1890. The bodice features a high standing collar with triple pleated bone silk chiffon trim along the top line, under the chin. This same chiffon is also secured in two pieces gathered and secured under the collar and and at the waist adding volume over the bust line and partially obscuring the jacket closing. The chiffon is secured at the side into the main fabric of the bodice by the beaded embellishment. The pink seed beads are sewn in lines of five beads one after the other creating a diagonal design that tapers from the shoulder to the waist. The bodice is boned around the front and back and secured down the centre font by nineteen hook and eyes and additional cotton tapes. Further beading details the bottom centre front and base line of the bodice. The shoulders have been repaired with replacement fabric to match, from our records it appears that the repair work was performed in circa 1974 but no record exists of the original shoulder design and if the repair was an exact copy of the original. The repaired shoulders feature a small frill around the shoulder yoke and top of the arm. The sleeve is fitted and three quarter finishing just below the elbow. The base of the sleeve is also trimmed with the pink bead design and bone three pleat chiffon trim. The back of the bodice features shaped panels contouring the jacket neatly in at the waist and then splitting and splaying out over the fullness of the skirt. The skirt appears to have been floor or ankle length held at the waist by a wide waistband. The skirt openings have been altered from the original currently featuring two openings secured by press studs. The skirt is gathered to the waistband at front and back creating fullness. The lower part of the skirt features the same pink bead embellishment and additional beaded flowers and diagonal point edge detail.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastorialist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Significance

This day suit was owned and worn by Clara Miller nee Bell in Melbourne in circa 1890.

Dress - Fancy dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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.

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.

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.

Dress - Visiting dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black and mint green wool velvet lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a wired, standing collar, finishing just under the chin and open at the front of the throat. On either side at the front of the throat it features long black lace ties with black jet bead fringe. The centre front of the dress from the neckline to the base of the skirt features an insert panel of mint green corded silk. The silk is gathered and the neckline and waist and overlaid a panel of gathered lacy net. Inserted into the seam at either side of this panel at the waist are two velvet ties. The dress secures closed with eight black buttons and one hook and eye down the right side of the mint panel to mid thigh. The edges of the collar and black front panels are finished with a looped ribbon trim. The remainder of the dress is made of a black wool fabric woven a checkered pattern of larger and looser threads and smaller and tighter threads creating a seersucker like pattern. The bodice features a natural shoulder line and an Amadis sleeve of full cut gathered to the bodice at the shoulder and finishing at the elbow with a large black lace flounce. The front panels of the dress are flat and shaped neatly to the body from neck to hip line and gently out to create the Victorian silhouette. On the back of each shoulder the dress features a leaf like, small jet beaded embellishment with multiple long loops of jet beads falling down the back to the waist. Underneath this embellishment is a pleated black ribbon that runs from the shoulder to the back of the pelvis. Over the pelvis are another two jet beaded embellishments of a floral design with two tassels. The skirt is full and pleated in under this embellishment and fulls to the floor with a small train. The base of the dress is finished with a ruched band of the main dress fabric.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection, belonged to one of the daughters of George Ward Cole, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue silk parasol with cream silk printed with floral design in beige, brown, turquoise and terracotta. Metal spokes tipped with horn coloured bakelite. Wooden handle with traces of iredescent paint. Dark brown twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE

Coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Maxi coat in cream, yellow and metallic gold ogival patterned brocade. Fastens with five large metallic gold corded domed buttons. Lined with ivory silk taffeta.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back neck: jot / TOORAK

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn, brown silk, evening dress, circa 1860, consisting of a bodice and skirt. The bodice features an off the shoulder neckline edged with cream lace. A chevron design of black velvet trim, passes from the shoulders to the centre front waist, then hangs loosely to the hip line. The black velvet trim on the sleeves and the skirt is edged with a black fringe. The bodice base is finished in a v-shaped front at the natural waistline. There are short puffed sleeves also feature the black velvet fringed trim and lace at the edge along with three epaulette style strips, which pass from the shoulder seam to the edge of the sleeve. Each strip finishes with a decorative bobble. The bodice lining is cream glazed silk with steel boning, cotton tabs sewn into both sides have four eyelets for lacing. The dress has a full, floor length unlined skirt which is slightly longer at the back creating a modest train. The skirt has horizontal bands of the velvet trim and finishes with a box pleated trim of the dress fabric. The dress is fastened at the back using two connecting rows of black velvet covered buttons.

Historical information

A dress belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s; possibly his wife Thomas Anne Ward Cole or one of his daughters, Margaret or Agnes. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Tile - Ceramic tile from Norwood (house)

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A square Wedgwood ceramic tile which is multi-coloured. The colours are brown, green, pink and orange. The tile is embossed with vines and flowers. The centre square features the head and shoulders image of a man. Norwood, the house where the tile was used was built around 1890.

Historical information

The tile was from the Norwood, the house which stood at 100 The Esplanade,, Brighton. The house was built around 1890 and demolished in 1955. Before the house was demolished many of the items were sold by auction.

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of tile "n 118 / Josiah Wedgwood & Sons / Etruria / Patent / Impressed tile"

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

One piece floor length dress of (originally) lavender, watered (moiré) silk taffeta with short sleeves and train that is controlled by interior tapes to create bustle effect. The bodice fastens down the centre front to the waist where the opening below the waist is concealed by side pleats. The bodice appears to have originally featured a piece of lace at the neckline and a textile ruched belt. The dress is backed with a cream cotton.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Julia Benjamin (1850 - 1927) for her marriage to Abraham Smith (of Polish descent) at the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Bourke Street, Melbourne on September 5th 1868. Julia was the daughter of Joseph Benjamin and Hannah Soloman. Records suggest it may have been converted into her 'calling' gown for the three month 'bridal' period following her marriage. The gown would have been worn with accompanying accessories of a cape, gloves.

Significance

An early example of a wedding dress of the Melbourne Jewish community.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sheer black silk chiffon dress with black beaded front detail and pin tucked front skirt. Long pointed beaded collar. Long sleeves with nine rows of horizontal pin tucking on lower edge.

Cape

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin cape with corded design. Black fur trim on collar, centrefront openings and hem. Lined with quilted black silk. Watch pocket on left proper interior. Wool interlining.

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink floral patterned quilted polished cotton circular skirt with two patch pockets.

Historical information

The Malbourough Classic label was a house label of David Jones Department Store.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven grey and yellow on white acetate, centre back: A Malborough Classic

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige taffeta silk dress with fine black woven stripe. Olive coloured bias satin trim and vandyked horizontal panels down front of the dress. The dress has a train.

Muff

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn dark blue silk velvet muff from late 1800’s. This cylindrical muff features a central lightly padded area for the hands with the sides extending un-padded a further five centimeters. A six centimeter black grosgrain and satin ribbon decorates the front. Attached from the wearers right at the edge of the padded area and falling diagonally to the left edge of the padded area, where it finishes in a decorative bow.

Historical information

A hand muff belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Bonnet

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn ivory cotton, embroidery anglaise child’s bonnet from the late 1800s. The bonnet fabric design combines features a combination of narrow pin tucking and embroidered flowers on a vine. The bonnet edge is finished with a double-layered delicate gathered lace ruffle around all the edges. The bonnet secures under the chin with a delicate tie made of a similar but plain fabric.

Historical information

A cotton bonnet belonging to the family of George Ward Cole’s in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Dressing gown

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand stitched purple pink silk quilted dressing gown with pale pink embroidery from circa 1894. The dressing gown is embroidered from the collar and shoulders though the centre front body to just above the hemline, on the cuffs and remaining pocket in a pale pink Perle thread embroidery featuring leaves and flowers. The entire gown is hand quilted with vertical parallel lines. The gown neckline features a flat collar and the sleeve head fits on the neat shoulder line. The sleeve head is gathered and full tapering to a loose flat cuff at the wrist. The front of the garment is currently secured by fourteen decorative frogs of two different styles, none of which appear to be original. There is also evidence of a fifteenth toggle that has been removed from the base. The gown's original left hand pocket has been removed and attached to an area around the right breast presumably to patch a hole or obscure some damage. It is unknown when these modifications have been made. The back of the gown features a gathered pink and black concertina pleated silk insert panel from the neck through to the base of the garment. The garment is lined with a very fine pale pink silk over the woolen batting.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Significance

This dressing gown is believed to have been worn by Clara Miller in circa 1894

Cushion

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand painted and hand embroidered cream silk cushion. Date and use unknown. This cushion features a delicate hand painted floral design, enhanced with highlight embroidery. It also features a silk rope binding around its edges and a cream silk bow. It appears to have enclosed something as it has a button and loop to secure it in half.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Vest

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Fairisle patterned hand-knitted vest in beige, brown, yellow, green and red.

Historical information

Knitted by the donor's great grandmother, Elsie Hone. Knitted using bicycle spokes as knitting needles. Elsie Hone (nee Stone) was born in 1890 and died in 1987. She had six children and she apparently knitted this vest for her second son (fifth child), Albert George Hone (b.1914) for his 18th birthday. Albert and his wife Grace had four daughters between 1942 and 1951. The donor's mother, Ina Harriet Nilsson, was born in 1925 (fourth daughter, sixth child of Elsie) and as she had a son, the donor's uncle George (Albert?) passed it on to her. Both the donor's elder brothers wore and out-grew the vest and eventually it was passed on to the donor, Ray Nilsson. The vest was worn for many years while the donor worked at VACC Insurance Co Ltd in St Kilda Road, Melbourne and in the North Sydney, Canberra and Dandenong offices and it was a talking point as he recalled the story. (Information provided by the donor)

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige silk parasol printed with bold zig-zag design in brown, orange, yellow and turquoise. Metal spokes tipped with white bakelite. Wooden handle decorated with pokerwork design painted red. Wooden ball covered in silk thread and twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE Woven label, blue on white cotton attached to spoken: Perfection

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dark brown leather shoes with Louis heel. Vamp and strap are decorated with cut metal beads. Strap secured with one boot button and button hole.

Historical information

J.T. Morris were a shoe store located at 306 Sturt Street, Ballarat

Inscriptions & Markings

Made in Austria for / J. T. MORRIS / 306 Sturt Street / BALLARAT

Evening outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening outfit comprising magenta feathered cape, full-length black velvet dress and a spray of silk flowers. Hem of dress lined with magenta and yellow silk. .1 - cape .2 - dress .3 - floral spray

Historical information

Bertha was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in c.1892. She lived at 42 Bay Street, Brighton and was married to Reginald Ambrose Dudfield.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from silver metallic thread crepe. Fastens down front with small self-covered buttons and loops. Long fitted sleeves fastened with10 covered buttons and loops. Full bias cut skirt with train.

Historical information

Louris Larson Disney married James Percy White at Melbourne Grammar Chapel on 17 June 1948. In later years the dress was given to an opportunity shop and purchased by Mrs Landells of the Brighton Historical Society. Also in the Society's collection is a 1950s pink straples silk chiffon dress worn by Louris. The couple lived in Brighton. Wedding photo of Louris taken at 53 South Road, Brighton is in the collection of the Brighton Historical Society.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1872 grey and white silk pin stripe dress features a high round neckline with eleven decorative blue silk buttons and secured by a concealed line of fifteen hook and eyelet closure. The bodice has decorative blue and green braid over the shoulder and bust and across the base of the bodice. The dress features three darts shaping the dress to the body. The sleeve is cut high but relatively full and tapers to the elbow then flares again in Pagoda like style but ends at the wrist or hand. The skirt opens over the left hip and features a pocket over the right hip. The skirt at the front finishes at the ankle or just above the ground. At the back the bodice features panels shaping the dress into the body and pleated and flared from the waist. At the small of the back is a decorative bow with pinked edges and decorative braid. The skirt at the back is uncommon in shape most likely as the result of modification. It appears to have had panels removed reducing its original fullness. It has a tape inside the back of the skirt that would draw the skirt in creating a bustle like shape . It would appear that the dress had been modified in order to create a more fashionable silhouette most probably in circa 1872. There are three separate pieces of fabric. One is made up into a semi-circular over-skirt trimmed with blue braid and fringing. Two pieces are unpicked skirt gores, one still has its cotton lining attached.

Historical information

This dress was donated as having belonged to Annie Elizabeth McLean born in Argyllshire, Scotland in 1853. This dress appears to have been originally made in c1855 and then modified in c1872. This indicates that the dress would most probably have been originally made for someone else and acquired by Annie Elizabeth McLean. In 1855 Annie was 2 whereas in 1870 she was 19 years old.

Significance

Annie Elizabeth McClean arrived in the Colony of Victoria from Argyllshire Scotland with her aunts and cousins in 1867 aged thirteen and a half. She had been educated in Scotland and eventually became a personal maid and then companion to the Renwick girl, daughters of Samuel Renwick of Brighton, Australia. She returned to England, Scotland and again to Victoria in the service of the Renwick family. She left the Renwick family upon the marriage of the youngest Renwick daughter. She then went to the household of Sir William and Lady McCullough until she left to be married in 1878.

Shoes - Platform shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pair of silver holographic platform open-toed shoes.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white: TIP toe

Head dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream lace cap from late 1800s. A silk satin ribbon that encircles the back of the crown of the head, creates the structure of this cap. Towards the front it also has a net and wire-reinforced peak. Over the top of this support is a central diamond shaped lace piece of seven and a half centimeters diameter to which is attached a fine lace net that is gathered and stitched around the edge of the central lace. Two decorative bows of the same silk satin fabric are positioned on the support over the top of the lace at either temple of the wearer.

Historical information

A lace head dress belonging to the women of the family of George Ward Cole’s in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Inscriptions & Markings

W-COLE hand stitched on inside of band. It is unknown when and by whom this inscription was made.

Jacket - Military jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A red and green flocked cotton Military jacket believed to be British Navy from c.1807 - 1817. The jacket features a green high stand collar secured at the throat by three brass hook and eye closures. The red jacket bodice secures down the centre front with fourteen brass buttons and finishes approximately at the navel. The bottom line sits on the waistline at the sides and back, tapering lower to the naval at the centre front. The bottom line features two substantial brass hooks one on either side of the waist to secure the jacket to the pants. The shoulder line of the jacket is a neat tight fit on the true shoulder, with a slim fitting curved sleeve with gathered fullness at the shoulder. On each shoulder is a metallic corded epaulet with North Devon XI button and second button with floral motif. At the base of the sleeve is a green cuff like detail with a curved elongated point towards the elbow. At the base of each sleeve is a further two brass regiment buttons. The cream woolen jacket lining is lightly quilted over the breast.

Historical information

A Military jacket, possibly British Navy believed to have been worn by Captain George Ward Cole. George Ward Cole joined the British Navy in 1807, serving as a midshipman stationed in the West Indies until 1810 when he transferred to the Channel Squadron. In 1814 he was promoted to lieutenant and spent a year on the North American Coast in various amphibious operations including the destruction of Washington. After further service in the West Indies he was injured by gunfire losing hearing in his left ear and retired with honorable discharge in 1817 / 18.

Significance

George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently sub divided and later demolished.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

An orange pink (salmon) with cream spot, very fine silk organza dress from circa 1840. The dress features a wide scooped neckline, almost to the shoulder. The sleeves are set low with a gathered head to the sleeve and finished with a flounce, dropping to just above the elbow. The bodice is shaped and fitted to the body and features a centre front detail of the bodice fabric that is gathered, ruched and tapers in a v to the waist. The waistline of the dress sits on the true waist at the sides and tapers to a v at the centre front and centre back. The full skirt is gathered to the piped waistline and falls to the floor. The skirt features three horizontal pleats in the skirt fabric in between four bands of cream floral self embroidered detail. The dress is open at the back where it is boned and features lacing holes. The lacing is missing from the item. The bodice of the dress is lined with a very fine cotton lawn and boned.

Historical information

Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew) was born on 3rd December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland. She emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga arriving in Melbourne on 22nd December 1852. 100 passengers died during the journey and approximately a further 70 after arrival of typhus. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. In circa 1861 Margaret married James Nicol Law in Ballarat. They had several children, the youngest of which was James (Lin) Lindsay Gordon Law 21st Jan 1881. James Nicol Law was killed in a train accident in Fingal Tasmania in July 1886. Lin Law married Elsie Russell in January 1915. They had four children. The eldest of these children was Pauline Margaret Law, born 15th December 1915.

Significance

Lin and business partner Jim Pearson established Pelaco, the shirt manufacturing company in 1906. The Law family moved to 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street Brighton in 1920. Pauline and her husband Hugh McLean purchased "Blairgowrie" from the Law family in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sleeveless black cotton voile dress printed with large cream and apricot coloured roses. Dropped waist; bias-cut triangular draping applied to front neck; two horizontal bands of black voile inserted into skirt.

Historical information

Worn by Dame Marie Breen DBE OBE, Federal Senator for Victoria and Brighton resident. Marie Freda Breen (nee Chamberlin) was born on 3 November 1902, died 17 June 1993. Marie became the first female senator for Victoria in 1962. In 1959 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for her work in the role of State President of the National Council of Women (Victoria) and in 1979 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wreath of mustard and grey silk velvet leaves with bow at centre front, covered with grey tulle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on grey acetate, inside side back: PHONE 50 5347 / Mary H. Thomas, 103 WATTLETREE RD. EAST MALVERN

Dress - Visiting dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black and yellow velvet, wool, lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a yellow silk, black lace and black velvet collar finishing high on the neck just below the chin finished with a black lace ruffle. The collar has a flap across the front of the throat that attaches at the side with a v shaped baseline that contributes to concealing the fastenings of the bodice. The dress features a gathered central panel of black lace covered lemon silk, which falls from the neckline to the floor. At either side of this panel are matching panels of black velvet. The remainder of the dress and sleeves are made of black wool featuring a self-striped and spotted pattern. The dress fastens down the centre front with concealed black buttons hidden underneath the right velvet panel. The head of the Amadis sleeve sits on the natural shoulder line and finishes tightly at the elbow. The volume of the sleeve is created by ten pleats at the head of the shoulder, sewn to the bodice and is gathered at the elbow. The sleeve is finished with a black velvet ribbon with a bow and a black lace frill. The base of the dress is finished with a ruffle of the black dress wool. The dress features a small train. The dress is boned at the back waist and features an inset panel just below the waist of gathered fabric which forms the train.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection belonged to one of the Ward Cole sisters, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole, daughters of George Ward Cole.

Significance

George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor The Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently sub divided and later demolished.