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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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Gloves

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pair of very fine ivory doeskin evening gloves. The gloves feature full pique insert seams around the fingers and thumb with a slit on the inside arm from mid thumb to mid fore arm and three white shell buttons. The gloves extend high to high on the upper arms and feature a ribbon covered elastic to aid hold on the upper arm.

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

These gloves were owned and worn by Clara Miller nee Bell in Melbourne in circa 1900.

Inscriptions & Markings

A black ink stamp on the inside of the right glove over the wrist: 5 3/4, Made in France, Buckley and Nunn Limited, Melbourne. A black ink stamp on the inside of the left glove over the wrist: Grand Prix Exposition, 1900, Medallere D'or, Merlier, Depose (? Very faint), Made in France. A blue ink stamp on the inside of the left glove over the top side of the wrist: 797, 221'65, C51C

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

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 - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece wedding dress comprising separate bodice and skirt made of figured coffee-coloured silk woven with large sprays of foliage and berries. The front of the bodice is decorated with a cream-coloured hand-made lace. The bodice is cut asymmetrically, with the front panel wrapping over to the left proper side seam. The fitted sleeves are cut with fullness in the head and narrowing at the elbow and wrist in a leg-of-mutton style. The bodice is backed with a dark brown glazed cotton and has 13 bones. The skirt is backed with a coffee-coloured cotton.

Historical information

Worn by Matilda Kinross Herd when she married George William Mitchell McDonald in Geelong in 1892.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White cotton high-waisted maxi dress printed with black spots and trimmed with red ric-rac. Elbow length sleeves. Fastens with centre back zip.

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: JILLIAN / OF / MELBOURNE

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A silver and brown striped silk taffeta dress comprising separate bodice and skirt. The dress features a high round neckline fastening down the centre front with concealed hook and eye closures with ten (two missing) decorative brown silk velvet buttons. The front and back feature a briown silk velvet ribbon that forms a v shape from the shoulder to the centre front just below the bust and centre back below the shoulder blades. From the ribbon falls a brown and silver silk fringe approx seven cms deep. The bodice is shaped and boned into the waist and finishes in a deep v over the stomach. At the back the bodice is shaped to the body finishing in a smaller curved v over the small of the back. The sleeve attaches to the bodice at the true shoulder and falls in a pagoda sleeve to the mid forearm. The sleeve is also trimmed with brown silk velvet ribbon near the base of the sleeve. The full skirt is pleated at the waist, falling to the floor, longer at the back to accommodate the crinoline.

Historical information

A dress believed to have belonged to an ancestor of Mrs. Jessie Somerville Singer (nee Watson) 1849 – 1935. Given the dress dates from circa 1850 possibly someone from one generation previous possibly her mother Elizabeth Martin. Jessie Somerville Singer was the second wife of Mr. Edward Singer (1829 – 1904) of ‘Somerville’ New St. Brighton Beach. Mr Singer’s first wife Maria died in 1861 and their son William approximately 12 months later. In the 1861 census of North Bradley England, Mr. Singer was recorded as a carpenter journeyman. After this tragedy Edward, aged 30, left England to start a new life in Australia. He emigrated as an unassisted passenger on the steamship ‘Great Britain’ departing Liverpool and arriving in Melbourne in April 1863. Edward worked as a joiner and overseer for a timber merchant in Franklin Street Melbourne. In December 1869 he bought a property at 1115 Hoddle Street, East Melbourne, between Hotham and George Streets. At some stage he also acquired 1117 Hoddle Street. He also owned another property in Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy. On July 10th 1873 Edward married Jessie Somerville Watson, the daughter of William Watson and Elizabeth Martin They lived at Hoddle street for some years, until they lived at Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy then in the 1880’s Edward is recorded as a joiner in the then semi rural suburb of Brighton. The house ‘Somerville’ was built by the Singers in c1880 at 100 (now 78) New Street Brighton. The family moved there when Edward retired early, from North Fitzroy and lived there until 1941. ‘Somerville’ was sold, the house demolished and the land divided in the 1930’s. Edward and Jessie appear to have lived comfortably. Edward died on 30th July 1909. Jessie died on 11th November 1935. Mrs. A. Rodin Cook (donator) is the granddaughter of Walter Francis Newing was Jessie’s grandson. Walter Newing had a small printing business in Bay Street and from 1910 lived at Kinane Street. He was secretary of the Life Saving Club that stood at the end of Kinane st in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Significance

Many members of the Singer family have lived in and around Brighton for many years, with the first recorded domicile in the 1880’s.

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Unlined taupe silk cloak with two wide horizontal bands of black satin and lozenge-shaped black cord detailing. Black satin tie collar with black tassels at ends.

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.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress of white lace. V-neckline, long fitted sleeves and train. Large bow at back.

Historical information

Wedding dress worn by May Dunne who was married on 11 April 1942 at the Newtown Methodist Church in Aberdeen Street, Geelong. The lace was purchased with war-time coupons. The couple lived in Brighton and May was a member of the Brighton Historical Society when she donated the dress.

Coat - Water rat coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three-quarter length brown fur coat made of water-rat pelts. Wide shawl collar and cuffs. Fastens centre front with two large hooks and eyes. Lined with chocolate brown silk satin.

Historical information

Belonged to Audrey Pickett (nee Heriot) who was married to Ted Pickett. Later in life, after Ted died, Audrey married Don North. The coat was exhibited in the window of F. J. Ellemor's store in the Royal Arcade.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on beige silk, centre back neck: created by / F. J. Ellemor / FURRIERS / MELBOURNE

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

Jodhpurs - Jodphurs

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pair of black wool twill women's jodhpurs from late 1800’s to early 1900’s. The jodhpurs feature a flat flap-front that buttons on either hip with four buttons on either side. The cut of the leg is full tapering through shaped panels to a slim fit over the calf. At the centre front of the leg at the shin, the pant leg is laced closed and finished with brown binding. From the back, the pant hangs loose and full over the bottom, tapering to a slim fit over the calf. Note: These jodhpurs are not a matching piece of the riding habit T0002.1. However, it appears that the same person wore them at the same time, as an outfit.

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.

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 - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream, pale blue, orange and gold embroidered satin formal dress, the bodice dates from circa 1840. This dress shares a skirt with T0004.2, which dates from a different period. The bodice features a wide shallow neckline finished with a beige coloured cord in two decorative lines. The sleeve is set on the true shoulder and is a short fitted sleeve with decorative gathering and two lines of corded detail. The bodice is shaped to the body with 2 sets of six fine knife pleats diagonally positioned narrower over the waist and spreading out over the bust. These pleats are secured with six double lines of stitching. The bodice finishes high on the waistline at either side and points down to a point over the centre front. The base of the bodice is finished with a piped edge and beige decorative cording. The bodice encloses the body at the centre back where it has holes that presumably would have held lacing. The back features four diagonal knife pleats finishing at the centre back and splaying out over the shoulders. The waistline at the back features only a very gentle point.

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.

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 - 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.

Jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dior-inspired suit jacket. Unlined. Six cloth buttons with bound button holes. Inside hip pads.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream acetate, centre back neck: Ponce De Leon. Handwritten on label in black pen:43 LANDELS

Shawl

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream-coloured cotton bobbinet ground, hand-embroidered with flattened metal strips.

Historical information

Often referred to as Assiut shawls, where they were made.

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 - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Full-length knit dress of blue, green and silver patterned lurex with Georges box and receipts. High neck with metal zip centre back. .1 - dress .2 a-b - Georges box with lid .3 a-c - envelope & 3 layby & alteration receipts stapled together & separate delivery invoice .4 - Receipt for dress alteration & delivery charge

Historical information

Belonged to a Mrs E. Hill of 6 Webb Street, Brighton. The dress is an excellent example of mid-1970s evening wear and comes with its original box and dockets.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: PRINTED BY HAND / Pelilla / MADE IN ITALY Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: 65% RAYON / 35% POLYESTER / MADE IN ITALY

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

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.

Smock

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Agricultural worker's hand-loomed linen smock, dyed brown. Fully hand-stictched with smocking details on front and back and sleeves. Opening at front and back neck area fastened with now missing buttons.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A grey silk parasol with mauve stripe decoration, wooden handle and brass fittings from the late 19th century. The handle appears to be missing a decorative finish from the end.

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 parasol was owned and used by Clara Miller in Melbourne in the late 19th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Mrs. S. Miller, Cantala, Caulfield.

Pant suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pant suit comprising tunic and flared pants made from cream, yellow and gold lurex woven in a floral pattern. Tunic has a pair of non-functional pocket flaps at breast and two finctional pockets at front hip area. Tunic fastens with a centre back zip. Tunic lined with shell pink poyester satin; pants unlined.

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label woven white on black acetate centre back tunic: Stell-Ricks / OF MELBOURNE / SUITS TOPCOATS

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

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 - 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.

Doll - Bead doll

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Painted wooden bead doll of a sailor made by Olga's cousin who gave it to her in 1937. Cream coloured body and limbs and pink head. The body is made from one long oval bead and the limbs from small round beads.

Crinoline skirt - Crinoline

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream paper silk taffeta crinoline skirt c.1862. This skirt features a flat front across the front waistband but a gathered across the back. At the front it is floor length whilst at the back it features a small train. Presumably the skirt was concealed at the sides and back at the front features decorations that do not continue around the back. The front decoration consists of three tiers of pleated pale violet to pale pink silk ribbon with a deep drop of cream lace. The final lace tier is gracing the floor.

Historical information

This skirt belonged to Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole and was worn for her role as bridesmaid for the marriage of Miss Barkly, daughter of Sir Henry Barkly.

Significance

George Ward Cole, father of Miss Margaret Morison 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. Sir Henry Barkly was the second Governor of Victoria.