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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', [email protected], 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

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

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2737 items

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black hostess apron created from a black silk southeast asian textile featuring a stylised woven band of red, black and gold silk. The fabric is gathered at the waist. The strap includes black silk tassel.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Cotton apron comprised of scalloped panels of plain green and white floral patterned fabric.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black hostess apron embroidered with sprays of leaves using orange and yellow silk thread. The apron is bordered by commercial guipure lace. The apron is backed by the same fabric. While the leaves are embroidered on the upper layer only. the pocket is embroidered on/through both layers.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black silk hostess apron embroidered with sprays of flowers using multi-coloured silk thread. The apron is bordered by black commercial lace. Based on an examination of the embroidery, it has been deemed to be a commercially produced item made in India.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton apron, covering clothing front and back and joined by two buttoned tabs. Based on an examination of the sewing it is presumed that it is a hand-made item.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton apron decorated with machine embroidery and appliqué. The apron is a commercially created item produced in China for the European market.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Rectangular white cotton apron, hand embroidered with a design of a basket of flowers. The apron may be created from a Semco pattern.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Apricot-coloured cotton apron, hand embroidered with a design of a woman in a garden. The apron has two symmetrically placed embroidered pockets. The apron may be a Semco pattern.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

While cotton apron, edged with lace.

Clothing - Apron

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Hand-embroidered apron. Possibly a Semco pattern. The apron is edged in yellow fabric and has multi-coloured sprays of embroidered flowers.

Information File - Australian Natives Association

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Information file containing a single item from the former Kew Branch No 153. The file is a handbill inviting members to a branch meeting on 11 November 1907 in the Kew Town Hall. The handbill lists the names of members standing as office-bearers for the 1907-08 year. They include Messrs H Simmons, CS Clark, WJ Clark, HC Crouch, CW Ward, C Shacklock, R Church, JC Lawn, W Tredinnick, WR Church, TG Coventry, WJ Perry, H Heymanson, E Jellis, H Wentworth, CS Clark, EA Atkyns, A Cleary, H Don, L Virtue, S Abbott, T Blackburn, ? Watson, and J Gidley. The bill is annotated to show which candidates were unsuccessful. Other known members of the association include Henry Kellett.

Inscriptions & Markings

Annotations by an unknown person in pencil showing unsuccessful candidates.

Information File - North East Link

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Archive file containing documents relating to the development and impact of of North East link in Melbourne.

Household textiles - Set of four doilies

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Set of partially worked doilies. They are comprised of daisy wheels of two sizes. A central circular motif is surrounded by smaller motifs

Household textile - Sandwich tray doily

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Octagonal ecru sandwich tray doily with crotcheted lace edge. Embroidered at either end with pink, blue and red flowers

Historical information

A common ladies hobby in the early to mid twentieth century was to embroider doilies. These often were from kits purchased from Semco. A pattern wou;ld be applied to the cloth for the embroiderer to follow. It would be edged with holes to facilitate a crotcheted lace edge.

Household Textile - Jug cover

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Square net cover edged with alternate blue and white beads. A central bow is surrounded with a circular pattern at the edges.

Historical information

Covers were used in the early 20th century to protect milk and sugar from flying insects

Household Textile - Crocheted sugar basin cover with glass beads

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Square crocheted sugar basin cover with beaded edge. Beads are alternately white and amber. The word Sugar is centrally crotcheted.

Historical information

Commonly used in the early 20th century to protect sugar from household flies

Badge - VCC Studley Park Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A small shield with overlapped VCC on a blue ground, mounted on a wider ribbon shaped banner containing Studley Park also on a blue ground either side of a pair of oars with Kew on a blue ground between the blades of the oars.

Inscriptions & Markings

KCC STUDLEY PARK KEW on reverse STOKES & SONS MELB

Stick or Tie Pin - City of Kew, 1980s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Rounded, rectangular enamelled badge with City of Kew and coat of arms on a black background and a stick pin attached to the reverse

Inscriptions & Markings

City of Kew crest of city

Identification Badge - KCC Parking Attendant

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A nickel plated shield shape badge with blue enamel lettering with pin on reverse

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: K. C. C. / PARKING / ATTENDANT Reverse: K.G.LUKE

Badge - Melbourne Legacy Widow

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Gilt metal bar having a round cut-out gilt legacy laurel with a flaming torch in the centre, a curved ribbon attached to the lower edge of the wreath enamelled in red containing Melbourne Legacy Widow in capitals with a brooch pin back.

Inscriptions & Markings

Melbourne Legacy Widow

Badge - Melbourne Cup, 1992

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A presentation cup shaped lapel badge with 1992 on the cup and Melbourne Cup Carnival on the base plinth and a pin and keeper on the reverse.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: 1992, Melbourne Cup Carnival Reverse: Pinstop (03) 417 1522

Stick or Tie Pin - City of Kew, 1980s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A rounded corner rectangular badge with a gilt and enamel front, comprising gilt City of Kew above its coat of arms with red enamel within the shield on a black enamel background with a pin and keeper at the back.

Inscriptions & Markings

City of Kew and coat of arms

Costume - Pink Knitted Dress / by Grace James, 1988

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Knitted dress Long-sleeved pink, knitted wool dress with a high round neck created by the dressmaker Grace James for her daughter Ceri Spain in 1988. Acquired in 2006 Grace James Collection Fashion & Textiles, 2006.0048

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Patchwork Skirt, Synthetic Taffetas / by Grace James 1988

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Long silk taffeta skirt made of patchwork silk pieces/panels with a matching silk scarf. The patchwork panels are in shades of pinks, purples and blues. The skirt is secured with clear plastic press-studs. A narrow internal border of lace is attached to the basque.

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Patchwork Dressing Gown, Varied Materials / by Grace James 1987

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Multicoloured patchwork waisted dress featuring a full skirt.

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Apricot Chiffon Frock with Waterfall Front and Satin Shift / by Grace James 1981

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Three-piece pink chiffon outfit, the outer sections of a different floral weave. The two outer sections are attached with buttons at the waist. The plain pink shift with a zip at the neck was created to wear underneath

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Handwoven Jacket with Knitted Bands / by Grace James 1978

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Multi coloured knitted long coat dress

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Red Crepe Full Length Dress with Two Patterned Chiffon Overlap / by Grace James 1973

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Long plain red sleeveless dress made of a crepe like fabric. The dress has narrow strapped shoulders. Red, pink and black floral chiffon overlap. Th chiffon overlap is a John Kaldor fabric.

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Black Jersey Caftan with Turquoise Braiding and Matching Hood / by Grace James 1972

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black caftan decorated with aqua braid and matching cap

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.

Costume - Brown Frock with Braids and Matching Jacket / by Grace James 1972

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Three piece brown outfit comprising a long dress, a separate bodice and a belt of scarf. The outfit is made of a synthetic fabric. The long plain brown dress has been designed with a matching bodice that features a tan trim; the wide belt/scarf is striped. Brown silk purse with brass fittings

Historical information

Grace James, the creator of the items in the Grace James collection, designed and created costumes over a 19 year period (1969-1988) for her daughter Ceri. The collection of clothing ranges from evening wear to knitted garments. All the items display exemplary dressmaking skills. The designs are of the period and reflect evolving fashions of the time. Some items are copies of published designs whereas others are original creations. The collection was donated in 2006.

Significance

While most of the items in the Fashion and Textiles Collection of the Kew Historical Society are commercially designed items of clothing, there are also items made by home dressmakers. Many of these exhibit outstanding design knowledge and technical skills. A large and important group of these items of women's clothing is contained in the Grace James collection of outfits created for the dressmaker's daughter. The items have additional significance due to information about the purpose of the creation and the date when it was constructed.