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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Founded in 1958, the Kew Historical Society is one of the oldest suburban historical societies in Melbourne. The Society was formed to assist in the preparations for Kew’s 100th Anniversary in 1960. Today, the Society continues to work with local government and other organisations within Kew to stimulate interest in our history and heritage. It publishes, in print and online, information and resources about Kew’s history, as well as organising events relevant to our heritage. The Society cooperates with other historical societies and groups across the City of Boroondara through the Boroondara Historical Societies Association.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

Fridays & Saturdays 11.00am to 1.00pm. Closed in January.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958, and the collection predates and postdates that year. The collection has sometimes grown gradually, or significantly, the latter through key donations (eg The Rogers Collection), or due to events such as the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the new City of Boroondara in 1994. Many ‘civic’ items were donated before, during or after the amalgamation. These records are digitised by the Kew Historical Society on Victorian Collections for the purposes of education and preservation. If you believe that we have infringed your copyright please contact us and we will remove the material from the site.

Significance

The collection as a whole fulfills the criteria for very strong historical, aesthetic and research significance at a local level. It also has many outstanding associations with state themes, figures and events and quite a few that resonate at a national level. The costume and textiles, map and picture collections each have very strong historical, research and aesthetic significance of their own accord. The degree of their significance is greatly enhanced by all of the comparative criteria: interpretive value, provenance, condition, integrity, rarity and representativeness.

The costume collection has a very high degree of aesthetic significance for its beauty, quality and workmanship. There are some items that are associated with nationally significant designers, or with Kew donors who have made an impact on society at a local and a state level (ie Prue Acton, Jinoel of Melbourne, Oggi Fashion House). The strong degree of provenance and high quality of the design and dressmaking that went into the production of these clothes strengthens the research significance of this sub-collection for those interested in fashion, textiles and dressmaking. This costume collection includes items that date back to the 1850s (patchwork Denbigh quilt) through to the 1980s, and that reflect changing styles, technologies, textiles and production methods.

The picture collection has some items that have high local significance such as the Josiah Barnes photograph ‘Kew proclaimed a city’, which was taken on that day – 10 March 1921, and the ‘Unveiling of the Kew War Memorial’ on August 30 1925 in front of an audience of over 5,000 people and presided over by the Kew Mayor and the Governor of Victoria. Both of these important images also have significance to state and national processes of municipal development and memorializing war. The mayoral portraits (part of the picture collection) have a very high degree of historical and research significance for their associations, enhanced by strong provenance and technical qualities. Eminent photographers took many of the portraits and the subjects are people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and development of Kew and, in the case of some of the Mayors in this collection, of the state or even the nation. This includes people such as Stanley Argyle (Premier of Victoria 1932-35) and William Kerr (influential businessman and federal government advisor in the early decades of the 20th century). The significance threshold of this sub-collection is therefore likely to be of state significance at the least.

The maps and plans number some 300 or more and include some fascinating and important maps beyond the MMBW sub-collection that, itself, holds some unique items and has been discussed at length in this report. Other much earlier and hand drawn maps such as ‘Back to Kew’ (c.1875) and ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ (undated) are historically fascinating. In the case of ‘Back to Kew’ it is the detail of the built, natural and social landscape of Kew, which was also annotated and added to several times in subsequent decades to show the development of the area. In the case of ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ it is the careful recording of the garden layout and the nature of domesticity in these early days of European settlement that is both fascinating and rare to find in any local history collection. While not all the items are original the map and plan collection has a very high degree of historical and research significance.

Provenance for much of the collection is strong, and therefore supportive of its historical, research and interpretive value. Certainly the interpretive capacity for understanding a detailed and nuanced history of Kew on many levels, as well as touching or reflecting on wider stories on a state or national stage is very high.

Russell, Emma, 'Kew Historical Society Significance Assessment | Collection', History@Work, 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

Amazing hat collection, these are a great addition to the site - Site admin.

Leave a comment

2190 items with images

Photograph - Ms Evelyn West, circa 1967

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of Evelyn West, former Secretary of the Kew Historical Society, donated by her son Stuart in 1978.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: "KH-103. Mrs E.A. West MBE. About 1967. Late Secretary and member for many years until her death, 1976. Donated by son Stuart 1978"

Photograph - 878 Glenferrie Road, Kew, circa 1980

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Enlarged photograph of 878 Glenferrie Road, Kew, mounted on board, and donated to the Kew Historical Society by the City of Kew on 10 April 1991. The house was extant when checked in August 2017.

Inscriptions & Markings

From Kew City C'cil 10 April 1991

Postcard - Bird's Eye View of Melbourne

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Bird's eye view of Melbourne looking across a park to the Princess Theatre. Coloured postcard. Weir collection.

Historical information

Collection of thirty-nine postcards donated by Jillian Rigby which had been owned by her grandparents, George and Edith Weir, who from c.1917 lived at 84 Princess Street, Kew. The mostly 'mint' postcards were purchased in Victoria and while travelling overseas. The sole dated postcard is dated from 1929. The postcards are numbered sequentially from 2017.0058.01-39. The remainder of the collection donated by Jill Rigby which was once owned by the Weirs of Broken Hill and Kew consist of costumes, costume accessories, photographs, and documents.

Significance

The postcards in the Weir collection, especially those purchased on a trip or trips to the mother country, i.e. United Kingdom, represent a representative sample of sites that were considered significant to those Australians undertaking a reverse grand tour by member of the erstwhile colonies. Those postcards which are early views of Melbourne must have been produced commercially for some decades from the early part of the 20th century.

Subdivision Plan - East Kew Tramway Estate

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The East Kew Tramway Estate was a subdivision of two separate parcels of land between Adeney Avenue and Normanby Road. The larger section included 54 lots facing Adeney Avenue, Argyle Road, and Campbell, Hunter and Wishart Streets. [Hunter and Wishart Streets were created as part of the subdivision.] A further 17 allotments faced Normanby Road, Hubert and Campbell Streets. [The name of Hubert Street was later to be changed to Cecil Street.] The promotion of the sale referred to the advantages of living between two tram routes, in High Street and Cotham Road. On the plan, quaintly drawn trams mark these routes. Also on the plan is the route of part of the Outer Circle [Railway] Line.

Historical information

Pru Sanderson, in her groundbreaking ‘City of Kew Urban Conservation Study : Volume 2 - Development History’ (1988), summarised the periods of urban development and subdivisions of land in Kew. The periods that she identified included 1845-1880, 1880-1893, 1893-1921, 1921-1933, 1933-1943, and Post-War Development. These periods were selected as they represented periods of rapid growth or decline in urban development. An obvious starting point for Sanderson’s groupings involved population growth and the associated economic cycles. These cycles also highlighted urban expansion onto land that was predominantly rural, although in other cases it represented the decline and breakup of large estates. A number of the plans in the Kew Historical Society’s collection can also be found in other collections, such as those of the State Library of Victoria and the Boroondara Library Service. A number are however unique to the collection.

Significance

The Kew Historical Society collection includes almost 100 subdivision plans pertaining to suburbs of the City of Melbourne. Most of these are of Kew, Kew East or Studley Park, although a smaller number are plans of Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Hawthorn. It is believed that the majority of the plans were gifted to the Society by persons connected with the real estate firm - J. R. Mathers and McMillan, 136 Cotham Road, Kew. The Plans in the collection are rarely in pristine form, being working plans on which the agent would write notes and record lots sold and the prices of these. The subdivision plans are historically significant examples of the growth of urban Melbourne from the beginning of the 20th Century up until the 1980s. A number of the plans are double-sided and often include a photograph on the reverse. A number of the latter are by noted photographers such as J.E. Barnes.

Photograph - Kew Lunatic Asylum / Charles Nettleton, c.1885-c.1887

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A framed original silver albumen photograph by Charles Nettleton showing the front of the Kew Lunatic Asylum.

Historical information

Following a Royal Commission in 1854, the building of a new Asylum at Kew began in 1864. It was built to replace the Yarra Bend Asylum on the Fairfield side of the Yarra River. Work started in 1864 and was completed in 1872 at a cost of ₤198,334. Operating over a period of 116 years, and often renamed to take account of public sensitivities, the ‘Kew Lunatic Asylum’ was one of the largest asylums built in Australia. ‘Willsmere’ was finally closed in December 1988 and sold by the Government of Victoria in the late 1980s.

Significance

A rare silver albumen photograph by the Victorian photographer Charles Nettleton.

Photograph - The Kew "Strong Post" St Kilda Road, 1927

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

An unframed, mounted sepia photograph of the Kew "Strong Post" on St Kilda Road on the occasion of the Royal Visit of 1927.

Significance

The photograph is of historic and social significance for what it tells of popular civic values in the interwar period in Melbourne and Australia which manifested itself on occasions such as Royal Visits.

Inscriptions & Markings

Caption: "The Kew "Strong Post" St Kilda Rd., / on the occasion of the visit of / Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York / presented by C.R. Du Rieu Esq / May 1927

Photograph - Bronze Sculpture : Boy with Animal, Leopoldine Mimovich, 1990

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of sculpture or sculptures by Leopoldine Mimovich photographed in her home at 31 Miller Grove, Kew

Historical information

The Austrian-born sculptor Leopoldine Mimovich was a prominent artist who lived and worked in Kew. Examples of her sculptures in Kew can be found in the Kew Library and in the Alexandra Gardens.

Photograph - The Old Gum Tree [Victoria Park, Kew] / by Colin Campbell, 1961

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

‘The Old Gum Tree’ in Victoria Park. In the distance a game of cricket is being played on the oval. The old grandstand can be seen in the photo. Photographer Colin Campbell 1961.

Historical information

In 1871, Victoria Park, beside the Boroondara General Cemetery was set aside as a public reserve. As the Park developed, exotic plants were added to existing specimens. In 1910, a photograph of ‘The Oldest Inhabitant: A Giant Red-gum Tree’ in the Park was included in the Jubilee History of Kew. Fifty-one years later the tree was re-photographed by Colin Campbell. A 2007 Master Plan developed for the City of Boroondara advises the retention of this now dead River Red Gum, including a ‘managed risk zone’ and planting under the heavily lopped tree.

Significance

Photographer's proof

Costume Accessory - Evening Purse : Brass Frame, Gilded Mesh, 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Brass Evening Purse with Gilded Mesh. The Purse has a brass frame and handle. The clasp includes a faceted glass gem.

Historical information

The purse was owned by Lilian Cohen, the mother of Ms Dione McIntyre, and donated to the Society in 2017.

Significance

Collection Description: The McIntyre Collection of women's clothing and clothing accessories forms one of the largest single donations to the Kew Historical Society's costume collection. The Collection was assembled by Dione McIntyre, and her daughter Annie McIntyre, and donated in stages during the first decade of the 21st century. Items in the McIntyre Collection include clothing and clothing accessories worn by four women in the Cohen and McIntyre families across three generations. Most of the items in the McIntyre Collection were owned and worn by the Melbourne architect, and Kew resident, Dione McIntyre. These mainly date from the 1960s and 1970s, and include evening wear, day wear, hats and shoes. Examples of clothing worn by her range from a Norma Tullo mini-dress to elegant, tailored evening wear by Jinoel of Melbourne. As Dione McIntyre often accompanied her husband, fellow architect Peter McIntyre, to formal events, there are a number of pieces of high-quality evening wear among the items donated. The McIntyre Collection also includes items worn by woman in the family of an earlier generation: by Lilian Cohen, Dione McIntyre's mother, and by her mother-in-law, the wife of the architect Robert McIntyre. At the other end of the chronological spectrum are a number of outfits belonging to, worn and donated by Annie McIntyre. These include outfits created by notable late 20th century Australian and international fashion designers such as Fiona Scanlan, Martin Grant and Vivienne Westwood. The McIntyre Collection is significant historically and artistically in that it includes examples of design that demonstrate changing tastes in fashion over an 80-year period. The collection is particularly important in that it includes the work of a large number of Melbourne fashion designers from the 1960s to the 1980s. This work is both representative, and now often rare.

Periodical - Child Education : Summer Quarterly, 1958, Vol. 35 No. 7

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

20 page newsletter containing artwork and articles on the theme shipping and boats. Text on page 3 describes the subject of the issue as 'Around our Coasts'. This is amplified by the text as: "In preparation for the children's seaside holiday, descriptions and pictures of ships, boats and lighthouses, and their work are contained in this issue. Suggestions for handwork are also given. The wall picture [not included with this item] in full colour illustrates many different ships which the children might see at the seaside or on a river estuary."

Historical information

The Child's Education magazines were published for British teachers between 1924 and 2007 to help them plan activities for the season ahead. The internal pages contain a variety of lesson ideas in the form of a music, art or craft activities. This copy was donated to the Kew Historical Society's collection by the Preshil archives.

Significance

This 1958 periodical, sourced from the Preshil School. is interesting as it represents the continuing influence of English education and culture in the Australian curriculum in the late 1950s.

Artwork - Doona Avenue, Kew / by Joy Stewart, circa 1978

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Incomplete sketch in pencil, pen & ink on paper of two double-storey terraces at 7 and 9 'Doona Avenue, Kew' by the artist Joy Stewart.

Significance

Joy Stewart was born in Melbourne 1925. She studied at Swinburne Technical College Art School from 1941-1945, then the National Gallery Art School 1946-1948. Her career included employment positions as a display artist, designer/painter, gallery assistant, and art teacher. Joy relocated to Cairns in 1981. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Cairns, including 'Done By Me' at Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999. Group exhibitions at Cairns Regional Gallery, 'The Fish John West Regrets, 1993' and 'Facets of Life' 1994.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription: "Doona Avenue, Kew". Signed lower right: "JStewart".

Costume Accessory - Beaded Purse, 1930s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Beaded purse with metal frame and beaded chain.

Programme - Love in a Mist / by Kenneth Horne

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Programme issued by The Kew Repertory Players for a performance of Love in a Mist by Kenneth Horne. The performances took place in the Kew Recreation Hall in November 1956. The 4-page programme includes a cast list, a synopsis and advertisements for local businesses.

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who typically performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Certificate - Victorian Federation of Mothers Clubs, 1943-44

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Certificate presented by the Victorian Federation of Mothers Clubs. A bound certificate given to Mrs Rogers by Members of Kew East Central Mothers Club listing her 11 years of service. The bound certificate includes the autographs of the members of the club in 1943-44

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signatures

Photograph - Electricity Supply Poles, South Road, Moorabbin, 1965

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Electricity Supply Poles, South Road, Moorabbin, 1965. Stuart Tompkins Studio provided this photograph for the Kew City Council. The photograph of South Road, Moorabbin, west of Jasper Road, looking east depicts steel poles with two lamps in a median strip and supply wires from pole to pole. The poles were described as 100′ apart. The notation on the rear of the photograph was that there were lamps along the median strip except at intersections. A wooden pole is recognised as supporting heavy supply lines across the road. The steel poles in the photograph were said to be between 3′ to 3.5′ whereas the wooden poles were three to 12.25″ in diameter. [There are three copies of this photograph in the Collection.]

Historical information

Research provided by Stuart Tompkins Studio, Box Hill, into alternatives for median strip street lighting to be used in Burke Road, Kew. The photographers identified variants in different suburbs appropriate to Kew's needs.

Significance

The series from which the photograph is drawn provides a snapshot by a commercial photographic studio of each named vicinity in 1965 as well as providing examples of public works infrastructure being commissioned by local government in the 1960s. The photos originally formed part of the Engineering Department's files in the City of Kew before being donated to the kew Historical Society.

Inscriptions & Markings

Typed inscription on reverse: "Electricity Supply Poles. Photographed for Kew City Council 8/2/65. No.2 South Road - Moorabbin, west of Jasper Road, looking east. Steel poles with two lamps in median strip and supply wires from pole to pole along median strip (poles only 100' apart). Lamps along median only except at intersections. Wooden pole supports heavy supply lines across the road. Wooden poles 3' up and 8 1/2" dia. Wooden poles 3' up and 12 1/2 dia." Studio stamp: "Stuart Tompkins Studio. 547 Station Street, Box Hill. WX1439."

Containers - [Pair of plastic milk bottles, Model Dairy, circa 1960]

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pair of plastic milk bottles, designated on the front as to be used in the refigerator on on picnics. One bottle has a red screw on lid and the other a green lid. The bottles are semi-transparent. [The record also includes a photograph of Vic Sabaliauskas, provided by his son. The photograph dates from the period when he was employed at the Model Dairy].

Historical information

This pair of milk bottles, produced for the Model Dairy in Cotham Road, Kew, were donated by Vik Sabaliauskas. They belonged to his father who worked at Model Dairy in the 1950s and 1960s. Vik wrote about his father: "As for my father, his whole life story is interesting. He was part of the big immigration program after WW2. He was a displaced person in Germany like lots of others who came out looking for a new life. Our family name is actually SABALIAUSKAS which is of Lithuanian descent. My Dad was also named Vik (Viktoras). He was known as Big Vik and I was little Vik. He arrived in Australia in 1947 and then did his 2 years of work organised by the Government and then he came to Melbourne. We lived in Tyler St Preston and he rode his pushbike to and from Kew every working day for years. In my estimation that was about 13 kms for about 6 or 7 years. Imagine that happening today. Freezing Winter mornings and hot Summer afternoons. His English was poor but he had a great work ethic like all European immigrants. His duties related to maintaining and operating all the machines. One story that he told me about was that after I was born (in 1959) he made friends with one of the drivers who delivered milk to the dairy. He asked him to get a container of milk from the farmer everyday which was just for me. I remember going to the Model Dairy Family Christmas parties which were always well patronised. I also remember visiting him in the PANCH Hospital (Bell Street Preston) where he was treated for kidney stones caused by drinking very creamy milk. He wasn't happy when he was told by the doctor to cut back on milk. My Dad was one month short of his 95th birthday when he died and he lived a pretty healthy life." (2019)

Inscriptions & Markings

Impressed on the front of both bottles: "Unbreakable picnic and refrigerator bottle made expressly for Model Dairy Pty Ltd Cotham Rd Kew"

Photograph - Electricity Supply Poles, Burke Road, Kew, 1965

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Electricity Supply Poles, Burke Road, Kew, 1965. This photograph of Burke Road, Kew was taken just north of Kilby and Doncaster Roads looking north. Stuart Tompkins Studio provided the photograph for the Kew City Council. In the photograph are a number of electricity supply poles that have been erected in the median strip, in addition to some new poles on each footpath. The nearest wooden pole is stated to be 13.5″ in diameter. The electricity poles in Burke Road required Kew Council to investigate comparable designs in other Melbourne municipalities. [There are three copies of this photograph in the Collection.]

Historical information

Research provided by Stuart Tompkins Studio, Box Hill, into alternatives for median strip street lighting to be used in Burke Road, Kew. The photographers identified variants in different suburbs appropriate to Kew's needs.

Significance

The series from which the photograph is drawn provides a snapshot by a commercial photographic studio of each named vicinity in 1965 as well as providing examples of public works infrastructure being commissioned by local government in the 1960s. The photos originally formed part of the Engineering Department's files in the City of Kew before being donated to the kew Historical Society.

Inscriptions & Markings

Typed inscription on reverse: "Electricity Supply Poles. Photographed for Kew City Council 8/2/65. No.5 Burke Road - Kew, just north of Kilby and Doncaster Roads looking north. Some of seven poles already erected in median strip. Shows also some new poles erected on each footpath. Nearest wooden pole 13 1/2" dia." Studio stamp: "Stuart Tompkins Studio. 547 Station Street, Box Hill. WX1439."

Costume - Dress: Pink Floral Voile / attrib., Miss Moonies Shop, 1930s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pink floral voile day dress, beloved to have been bought from the Miss Moonies Shop in Melbourne. The dress has a tie at the waist in the same fabric ending in small wooden clogs. Th dress was donated by Elaine Chenoweth.

Costume Jewellery - Earrings

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pair of large imitation sapphire earrings, surrounded by imitation diamonds, all in a silvered plastic setting.

Footwear - Beige Leather Court Shoes / Made in Italy

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pair of beige women’s leather court shoes with stiletto heels and with brown bows on the toes, designed and manufactured in Italy.

Tool - Moulding Plane, 1" Complex, Preston EP Trade Mark.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Plane - Wooden Moulding, Beechwood & Metal, 1" Complex, Preston EP Trade Mark.

Historical information

In woodworking, a moulding plane is a specialised plane used for making the complex shapes found in wooden mouldings. Traditionally, moulding planes were blocks of wear resistant hardwood, often beech or maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding. The blade, or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge. A traditional cabinetmakers shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding planes for the full range of work to be performed.

Significance

Bertie Robert Edgar Greenwood was born c. 1880/81 and died aged 82 in Hawthorn in 1963. His father and possibly his grandfather were also carpenters. Bertie’s work as a cabinetmaker required precise planing to give lovely edges and other elaborate decorations. The major item in the tool collection is Bertie’s wooden box, which houses 45 different moulding planes. Later in his life, he used these skills extensively when he worked as a patternmaker for a plastering company. Bertie worked through his seventies, retiring when he lost a finger. The tool collection was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Bertie’s granddaughter, Pamela Webster Bloom, a former resident of Kew.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stamped with owner name ‘G. Greenwood’, with ‘G’ subsequently over-stamped with ‘B’. Later engraved number ‘27’ added on entering the collection in 2010. Cutter doesn’t match profile.

Costume - Outerwear - Bodice, Cream Bobbin & Pont de Gaz needle lace, 1890s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Handmade bobbin & Pont de Gaz needle lace bodice. This kind of lace was usually used in a bridal train and frequently refashioned into other items of clothing at later date.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Significance

This garment is significant as it is part of 25-piece collection of women’s clothing owned by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge), who was born in Clare, South Australia in 1867 and who died in Kew at the age of 81 in 1948. The items of clothing in the collection date from the 1880s to the 1940s and constitute outstanding examples of dressmaker’s skills from each of these decades. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife of a mining engineer, and later mine manager, Edith Weir’s clothing has historic significance as examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances and at social and civic events. The costumes in the collection represent the periods when Edith Weir lived in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and in Kew, Melbourne. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1940s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by the granddaughter of Edith Weir.

Photograph - Studley House, Xavier Preparatory School, circa 1965

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Rear veranda at Studley House.

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Photograph - High Street (Kew)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of High Street (Kew) by Stuart West. A tram travels towards Kew Junction intersection.

Costume - Evening Dress, Grey Velvet, 1960

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Evening dress, made of unlined grey velvet, worn by the Mayoress, Mrs Doris Dickinson, (wife of Cr WHS Dickinson), to the Kew Centenary Dinner Dance in the Kew Civic Hall. The dress has matching gloves. The dress was donated by Mrs Judith Goodes, a daughter of Cr. and Mrs. Dickinson.

Historical information

Kew was declare a separate municipality in 1860. To commemorate this, a number of events were held in Kew, including a Centenary Dinner Dance in 1960 at which the speakers were Sir Robert Menzies and Cr WHS Dickinson. As the Mayoress, Mrs Doris Dickinson accompanied her husband, wearing this dress.

Photograph - Artists of Kew Exhibition, Southesk

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of a group of adults attending an exhibition entitled Artists of Kew. Two people have been identified in the photograph - Cr WHS Dickinson and Alma Figuerola at centre. The location of the exhibition would appear to be at Southesk in Cotham Road. the year has not been identified. Both Miss Figuerola and Cr Dickinson were foundation members of the Kew Historical Society.

Historical information

Kew Historical Society, Alma Figuerola, Cr WHS Dickinson, exhibitions - kew (Vic), southesk - cotham road -Kew (Vic)

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: "Artists of Kew Exhibition. Founder of KHS Cr Dickinson in dark suit. Miss Alma Figrierola [sic] to his left". "KH-97"

Programme - Civic Dinner

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Programme for a Civic Dinner in the Kew Recreation Hall hosted by the Mayor of Kew, Cr. J.T. Gazzard, on 14 December 1957. The programme lists Toasts, Musical Items and the Menu.

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who typically performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Subdivision Plan - Raheen Estate, Kew, 1960

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The Raheen Estate Subdivision of 1960 involved the creation of 36 residential allotments and the sale of 34 of these. The land on which the subdivision was created had until 1960 formed part of the grounds of the mansion Raheen in Studley Park Road. In 1917, the Catholic Church had purchased Raheen and its lands. It was to become the home of Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, for 46 years. The sale of the subdivision took place three years before the Archbishop’s death. Subsequent archbishops were to reside at Raheen until its sale to the Pratt family in 1981. When the sale of the Estate was reported in the newspapers in 1960, it was described as the last big subdivision near Melbourne. At the auction, 33 of the 36 allotments were sold. The auction realised £315,750. Purchasers were advised that the vendor intended to keep lots 22 and 23. The alllotments in the subdivision required the construction of new roads. These included Eamon Court and Raheen Drive. The justification provided by the Church for the sale was that the estate was being sold to finance school building projects.

Significance

Subdivision plans are historically important documents used as evidence of the growth of suburbs in Australia. They frequently provide information about when the land was sold on which a built structure was subsequently constructed as well as evidence relating to surveyors and real estate and financial agents. The numerous subdivision plans in the Kew Historical Society's collection represent working documents, ranging from the initial sketches made in planning a subdivision to printed plans on which auctioneers or agents listed the prices for which individual lots were sold. In a number of cases, the reverse of a subdivision plan in the collection includes a photograph of a house that was also for sale by the agent. These photographs provide significant heritage information relating house design and decoration, fencing and household gardens.

Board Game - Drafts

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wooden drafts board with the counters contained in an internal drawer.

Sheet Music - I Told Them All About You / by Cliff Friend

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Sheet music for the song I Told Them All About You, featuring a cover photograph of the Australian 'radio star' Geoff Brooke. Brooke, a resident of Wellington Street (Kew), was a close friend of the singer Robin Vanser (aka Robin Kelly The item forms part of the Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of performance memorabilia donated by her to the Kew Historical Society in 2018.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Artwork - 3. East Kew State School / by Joy Stewart, 1988

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

3. East Kew State School. A Handcoloured cartoon created by the artist Joy Stewart as a template for the third of a series of tapestry panels depicting the history of Kew. Wool colour codes at left.

Historical information

Kew Tapestry The eight panels depict the history of Kew. This was a 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial Project carried out under the auspices of City of Kew Council and the Kew Historical Society Incorporated. Nearly 600 citizens including many children participated in the production by adding a few or more stitches. A book records their names and the panels upon which they worked. Artist: Joy Stewart Co-ordinator: Dorothy Benyei

Significance

Joy Stewart was born in Melbourne 1925. She studied at Swinburne Technical College Art School from 1941-1945, then the National Gallery Art School 1946-1948. Her career included employment positions as a display artist, designer/painter, gallery assistant, and art teacher. Joy relocated to Cairns in 1981. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Cairns, including 'Done By Me' at Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999. Group exhibitions at Cairns Regional Gallery, 'The Fish John West Regrets, 1993' and 'Facets of Life' 1994.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription: "EAST KEW STATE SCHOOL. Typical country school attended by children from surrounding farms and market gardens". Signed by the artist "(c) JStewart, 1988"

Subdivision Plan - Ermington Estate, Kew Heights

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

In November 1917, the Ermington Estate was advertised as an ‘Executor’s Sale’. It included the 10-roomed villa residence, ‘Ermington’, home of the late Mrs. Lorimer, and 10 ‘magnificent allotments’. The plan in the Kew Historical Society Collection is a little more specific. Ermington is described as having 9 Rooms &c. and there are 11 lots shown on the west side of Hillcrest Avenue. In the plan, the latter is named as ‘Hill Crest Avenue’. The plan indicates that the subdivision was based on the surveying work of Johnson & Tait. Opposite Ermington, the existing house ‘Parkhill’ is identified. A faded stamp on two parts of the plan indicates that it was in the possession of Jas. [R.] Mathers, Financial Agent, [136] Cotham Road, Kew.

Historical information

Pru Sanderson, in her groundbreaking ‘City of Kew Urban Conservation Study : Volume 2 - Development History’ (1988), summarised the periods of urban development and subdivisions of land in Kew. The periods that she identified included 1845-1880, 1880-1893, 1893-1921, 1921-1933, 1933-1943, and Post-War Development. These periods were selected as they represented periods of rapid growth or decline in urban development. An obvious starting point for Sanderson’s groupings involved population growth and the associated economic cycles. These cycles also highlighted urban expansion onto land that was predominantly rural, although in other cases it represented the decline and breakup of large estates. A number of the plans in the Kew Historical Society’s collection can also be found in other collections, such as those of the State Library of Victoria and the Boroondara Library Service. A number are however unique to the collection.

Significance

The Kew Historical Society collection includes almost 100 subdivision plans pertaining to suburbs of the City of Melbourne. Most of these are of Kew, Kew East or Studley Park, although a smaller number are plans of Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Hawthorn. It is believed that the majority of the plans were gifted to the Society by persons connected with the real estate firm - J. R. Mathers and McMillan, 136 Cotham Road, Kew. The Plans in the collection are rarely in pristine form, being working plans on which the agent would write notes and record lots sold and the prices of these. The subdivision plans are historically significant examples of the growth of urban Melbourne from the beginning of the 20th Century up until the 1980s. A number of the plans are double-sided and often include a photograph on the reverse. A number of the latter are by noted photographers such as J.E. Barnes.

Print

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Large framed photographic enlargement of Barnard’s Post Office in Kew on the site of the Kew Post Office. The photograph is a copy of a photograph in F.G.A. Barnard's Jubilee History of Kew (1910)

Historical information

The site of the current Kew Post Office was known as Barnard's corner.

Inscriptions & Markings

Annotation at base reads: 19.2 Kew Pharmacy and Post Office c .1880. F.G.A. Barnard, son of Francis Barnard is in the doorway. The site is that of the present Kew Post Office. Photograph taken from Bulleen Rd (now Kew High St) looking east.

Button - Come Back to God

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The use of common symbols for a range of purposes is sometimes a feature of wartime and post-war fundraising buttons. Like the ‘Hospital Day 1919’ badge, the ‘Come Back to God’ badge is within a seven pointed star on a dark blue ground with sprays of wattle; attempting to harness nationalism with religion.

Historical information

Most of the civic and sporting ephemera assembled by Francis Rigg were patriotic buttons. The use of these buttons as a means of raising revenue through patriotic sentiment occurred soon after Australia pledged allegiance to Empire. Buttons reflected ‘public sentiment, courage, patriotism, generosity and several [un- named] virtues’ such as the martyred mother of a ‘fallen’ hero. Attention was paid to attractiveness of design, encoded symbolism and high quality of production. Expressing ‘loyalty’, they were tokens to be kept for perpetuity. Female labour was used to operate the die that compressed the tin backing, photographic print and celluloid cover together. The pin was applied by hand. Women, of all ages, entered into the spirit of voluntary sales. Often they were sold at the entry and exit points of major pedestrian thoroughfares. The women of Kew set up a kiosk in front of the Post Office and the Railway Station to solicit their round, oval and square shaped wares. Pride in salesmanship was affected by publishing the name of the woman and her fiscal achievement in the major newspapers of the day.

Significance

The badges form part of a collection of ephemera originally purchased by Francis Horace Rigg (19/10/1882-05/03/1946) of 50 Belford Road, Kew (Vic.). Frances Rigg was a local business identity in Kew, ultimately managing the local branch of the English, Scottish and Australian (ES&A) Bank at 175 High Street, Kew from c. 1920 until the 1940s. After Francis Rigg’s death, the collection of buttons and badges was inherited by his son, Ken Rigg (14/11/1922-19/01/2014). The collection was subsequently donated to the Kew Historical Society in 2015 by his grandson Adrian Rigg during the Gallipoli and Beyond Commemoration. The collection covers a period of almost 40 years. The majority of the badges are patriotic buttons, issued and sold during and immediately after World War 1 to raise funds for national and overseas causes. The collection also includes a number of locally significant sporting event buttons and sporting club medallions, issued in the 1920s and 1930s.

Photograph - D'Estaville, Barry Street, Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

D'Estaville, Barry Street, Kew, This view of the bluestone house is taken from the western side. The front entrance, originally facing Studley Park Road is set into the southern side of the house.

Historical information

D'Estaville was built for Sir William Stawell in Studley Park, Kew in the 1850s. Later occupants include the artist Alma Figuerola.

Costume - Dress : Purple Silk Skirt & Top, 1930s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Two piece lightweight purple silk outfit consisting of a bodice and very full skirt. The loose fitting bodice is joined at the front by three fabric covered large buttons beneath which are two flat ties of the same fabric that are also buttoned. The bodice has wide pleats at the waist. The long full sleeves have wide cuffs.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Significance

This garment is significant as it is part of 25-piece collection of women’s clothing owned by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge), who was born in Clare, South Australia in 1867 and who died in Kew at the age of 81 in 1948. The items of clothing in the collection date from the 1880s to the 1940s and constitute outstanding examples of dressmaker’s skills from each of these decades. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife of a mining engineer, and later mine manager, Edith Weir’s clothing has historic significance as examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances and at social and civic events. The costumes in the collection represent the periods when Edith Weir lived in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and in Kew, Melbourne. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1940s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by the granddaughter of Edith Weir.

Photograph - Kew Recreation Centre, High Street [Kew], circa 1987

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of construction activities at the Kew Recreation Centre.

Historical information

The first Kew Municipal baths were built on a site in High Street (Kew) in 1925. Since then, various rebuilding have occurred, most involving extending or relocating the pool.

Inscriptions & Markings

nil

Photograph - John Duncan Brownlee and friends, Yarra River, 1925

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed photograph of John Duncan Brownlee, the Australian tenor, with Enid Gardner and friend in a punt on the Yarra River. Brownlee was originally from Geelong but later in life lived in Belmont Avenue, Kew. The photo is dated to 1925

Significance

A photograph of recreational activities on the River Yarra. The photo has added significance as a photograph of a famous Australian tenor.

Inscriptions & Markings

Three labels on reverse. 1. "John Duncan Brownlee, Operatic Star, originally of Geelong later resident of Kew at Belmont Av, on the pole. Also in the punt - Edith Gardner a friend. The Gardners lived on the east corner of Edgevale Rd. & Cotham. Approx. 1925." 2. "This picture is the property of Kew Historical Society 1/4/79". 3. Tel. Hawthorn 842 THE ARTORIUM ...."

Postcard - Alexandra Gardens, Kew (Vic)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The Alexandra Gardens, Cotham Road Kew. The postcard depicts a pedestrian bridge within the Gardens. The bridge, on which are standing two children, has rustic sides. On the evidence of this postcard, planting within the Gardens included a range of exotic specimens including a variegated aloe and water lilies. Native vegetation can be seen in the distance.

Photograph - 1st Kew Boy Scout Troop

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

This photograph shows members of the 1st Kew Scout Troop proudly displaying a competition trophy. While the original photo does not have a title, it is most likely the Cohen Shield for the best Victorian Scout Troop, which the 1st Kew Troop won in 1926. The location of where the photograph was taken has not been identified.

Jewellery - Necklace, Bone Flowers & Pendant, 1950s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Necklace constructed of single-size bone (sic) flowers with a single bone flower used as a pendant.

Fashion Plate - History of Fashion - Napoleon III 1865 to 1870, Present Fashions 1870 to 1875

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed fashion plate showing the 'History of Fashion' during the period 1865 to 1875.

Photograph - The Township of Walhalla / by Nicholas Caire, circa 1876

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

‘The Township of Walhalla’ : Views of Victoria (General Series) No.37 : Albumen silver photograph | Photo on card with Title and Description on reverse | Mounted 24 x 30 cm; Photo 12 x 17 cm.

Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Inscriptions & Markings

On Reverse: ‘This romantic Township is situated near Stringer’s Creek in Gipps Land, not far from the celebrated Baw-Baw Mountains. The Long Tunnel Gold Claim has proved a great source of wealth to this small out-of-the-way place, yielding sometimes between 2,000 and 3,000 ounces of gold per month. The population, which is mostly a mining one, reaches nearly 2,000 inhabitants, and are scattered about among the creeks and gullies of the neighbourhood. Until recently, the road traffic was limited to pack-horses, in consequence of the precipitous hills which surround the Town.‘

Manuscript - Autographs / Mary Alys Kirkland, 1905-22

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Compiled between 1905 and 1922, the 'Autograph' book has considerable aesthetic coherence, even though drawings and text are by different hands. Together, it provides a vivid depiction of social life and values in Brisbane in the period preceding the First World War. Like other autograph albums of the period, it is a compilation of pen and ink sketches, watercolours, quotations, poems, aphorisms and signatures. Most entries are from Queensland, particularly Coorparoo in Brisbane; friends and acquaintances from other Australian States also contributed items. The autograph album predictably contains numerous mementoes of the notable and the forgotten. It includes the signatures of the British contralto Dame Clara Butt (1872-1936) her husband, the baritone R. H. Kennerley Rumford (1870-1957), and that of the Australian actress and singer Nellie Stewart (1858-1931).

Historical information

The owner of the 'Autograph' book was Mary Alys (Gipps) Kirkland, the daughter of Richard Brook Woodthorpe Gipps (c.1872-1946). The family had migrated from Great Britain to Coorparoo, Brisbane, where most of the items in the album were created. In June 1925, The [Brisbane] Telegraph reported the wedding of Richard Gipps to Mary Alys Kirkland at Elvaston, The Righi, South Yarra. The bride, like the groom, was originally from Queensland, but at the time of her marriage lived with her parents at 21 The Righi. The album passed to their daughter Rosemary Alison (Gipps) Vaughan-Smith, and thence by donation to the collection of the Kew Historical Society.

Significance

While the signatures are interesting, they are not rare. Rather it is the illustrations that dazzle with the surety of their design and execution. In the portraits, one can recognise the debt that Edwardian art and design owed to the Pre-Raphaelites whose serene and poised idealisations of women are exemplified in the drawings, albeit simplified for a new 20th century sensibility. Typical, is a very early portrait from 1906 of Mary Alys Kirkland by a 20-year-old Garnet Agnew (1886-1951). Agnew later became an illustrator for The Brisbane Courier and The Queenslander Illustrated Weekly, creating cover illustrations for these publications between 1926 and 1930. Another pen and ink portrait of Mary Alys Kirkland was created in 1910 by Augusta Frances Isabel Hobday (1884-1961). Augusta, with her brother and sister, Percy Stanhope Hobday and Gladys Hobday, were artists and teachers. Each was involved for many years in the Queensland Art Society. While the album has historic, aesthetic and social significance to Brisbane’s history, as a document, its preoccupations have a wider Australian relevance and importance.

Toy - Bonza-Builda

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Bonza-Builda. A "KINDERTOY product" made in Australia in its original cardboard box.

Photographs - The Grip of Time, Kew Civic Hall, circa 1973

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Two colour polaroid photographs of the sculpture 'The Grip of Time' on the north exterior wall of the Kew Library. At left is the coat of arms of the City of Kew. The sculpture was purchased and donated to the City of Kew by Mrs Laurel Abercrombie. The artwork was created by Peter Schipperheyn.

Photograph - Mr Whitman

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Cabinet card, produced by Roberts of Glenferrie Road (Glenferrie), of Mr Whitman, a relative by marriage of the Padbury family of Kew.

Historical information

The Padbury family were early pioneers of Kew, running for over a century a funeral parlour in Cotham Road.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Whitman"

Hat - Green Cotton & Yellow Silk Ribbon, circa 1860

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Gentleman’s smoking (lounging) cap believed to have been made in c.1860. The conical hat is made of a dark green cotton fabric embroidered with narrow ribbon of a paler green silk. The unlined rimless hat is made of four pieces of fabric. There is no evidence of the hat at one stage featuring a tassle. The original donation record noted that the cap had been made for, and was worn by, a Mr Middleton, of Vaughan in Central Victoria.

Historical information

The context in which the hat was made and worn assists in establishing its potential historic significance. 'Bailliere's Victorian Gazetteer and Road Guide containing the most recent and accurate information as to every place in the Colony' (1870), describes the village of Vaughan as being located on the road from Daylesford to Castlemaine. In 1870 the Vaughan was deemed to be entirely a gold mining area, gold having been discovered in the district in 1853. Intriguingly the entry in the Gazetteer claims that the electoral division of Vaughan began at the junction of the Middleton Creek and the Loddon River, so perhaps the cap might have belonged to a member of a significant local family. In 1870, Vaughan had a population of about 1000 persons and included almost 300 dwellings. Articles from newspapers, published on Trove refer frequently to a Mr Middleton as a litigant in court cases before the Vaughan Court in the 1860s. By the 1870s, the Mt Alexander Mail, in an article on ‘Mining: The Pioneer Wheel’ describes the success of Mr Middleton and his Middleton’s Reef Gold Quartz Mining Company, which had built the largest water wheel in the Colony. The wheel was 20’ in diameter and 2’ wide. Quartz mining as practiced by companies such as Middleton’s had become necessary after the exhaustion of alluvial quartz mining deposits in the 1860s. So we can probably establish a link between the cap and a significant mining identity in the period in which the article was made.

Significance

The historical significance of the cap is only one part of the story. Caps such as the Middleton example can also be items of aesthetic significance as they were typically, examples of women’s work, using published patterns in magazines such as the Ladies Home Magazine. While women might follow or adapt a published pattern, their choice of materials reflected what was available locally. The fine hand stitching on this example is evidence of high quality domestic needlework. The maker crafted the cap from five triangular pieces of cotton cloth, each piece lined with a faded yellow net. The net provides some stiffening for the cap and has a functional purpose in that it anchors the hand-stitched, looped design of yellow silk ribbon that decorates the surface of the cap.

Photograph - Frederick Noble

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed portrait of Frederick Noble

Historical information

One of five group and individual portraits of the Noble family of Kew, two in the rear garden of what is presumed to be ‘Charnwood’, in Station Street, Coburg. The photographs date from the period c.1890-1914. One of the larger framed photographs is a portrait of the entire family group, while another is of two of the children, Frederick and Winifred. The father, Frederick William Noble was a businessman, and, at one period Secretary of the Victorian Creamery & Butter Company in South Melbourne. Later he was to manage J. Bartram & Co., Ice & Cold Storage Department in Flinders Lane. By 1906, the Noble family had moved to Kew, living for almost 20 years at 100 Walpole Street before relocating to 26 Molesworth Street in the mid 1920s. The five photographs in the collection reveal details of family life and social values as expressed through attire. The family is formally costumed in a manner indicative of their social status. Mrs Noble, in one of the large framed portraits, is dressed in a sombre manner in a long, dark-coloured long-sleeved, high-necked gown. It is difficult to know whether she is dressed in mourning wear in this black and white photograph. It was not uncommon for a woman to regularly wear mourning attire due to the high mortality rate in the Victorian era. This situation was compounded for women due to the size of extended families. A woman might rarely be out of mourning due to the death of a parent, a sibling, a husband, a child or a near relative. The portraits of the Noble family children, particularly Frederick and Winifred, show the elaborateness of formal attire worn by the children of wealthy families during the late Victorian era. Winifred is dressed in a long cotton dress and a broad-rimmed hat; both liberally covered in lace. Winifred and Frederick’s lace collars extend to their shoulders. Winifred’s diaries, covering the period 1908-50, are now in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. The most detailed of the diaries is from 1914, just before the outbreak of World War 1, and includes ‘Accounts of my Dancing Evenings - Season 1914’. The diaries were the inspiration for an art exhibition by Jim Pavlidis in 2014. One of the family’s two sons, Frederick, was to work at The Age newspaper for 50 years. His obituary records that “He was regarded as the epitome of accuracy and a fount of knowledge on many subjects, but especially cricket, the Royal Melbourne Show and Gilbert & Sullivan”. With Robert Morgan he compiled Speed the Plough, a history of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and its role in developing agriculture in Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Frederick Noble". The name "PRENTICE" is handwritten below the label.

Costume - Outfit : Grey Pinstripe Wool, Theodore and Scanlan, 1980s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black wool striped jacket with square neck and buttons in the same fabric at front. Other items in the outfit include a grey skirt and a white blouse

Historical information

Donated by Annie McIntyre

Significance

Collection Description: The McIntyre Collection of women's clothing and clothing accessories forms one of the largest single donations to the Kew Historical Society's costume collection. The Collection was assembled by Dione McIntyre, and her daughter Annie McIntyre, and donated in stages during the first decade of the 21st century. Items in the McIntyre Collection include clothing and clothing accessories worn by four women in the Cohen and McIntyre families across three generations. Most of the items in the McIntyre Collection were owned and worn by the Melbourne architect, and Kew resident, Dione McIntyre. These mainly date from the 1960s and 1970s, and include evening wear, day wear, hats and shoes. Examples of clothing worn by her range from a Norma Tullo mini-dress to elegant, tailored evening wear by Jinoel of Melbourne. As Dione McIntyre often accompanied her husband, fellow architect Peter McIntyre, to formal events, there are a number of pieces of high-quality evening wear among the items donated. The McIntyre Collection also includes items worn by woman in the family of an earlier generation: by Lilian Cohen, Dione McIntyre's mother, and by her mother-in-law, the wife of the architect Robert McIntyre. At the other end of the chronological spectrum are a number of outfits belonging to, worn and donated by Annie McIntyre. These include outfits created by notable late 20th century Australian and international fashion designers such as Fiona Scanlan, Martin Grant and Vivienne Westwood. The McIntyre Collection is significant historically and artistically in that it includes examples of design that demonstrate changing tastes in fashion over an 80-year period. The collection is particularly important in that it includes the work of a large number of Melbourne fashion designers from the 1960s to the 1980s. This work is both representative, and now often rare.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Theodore and Scanlan