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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958.

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Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

1. KHS Office & Archive - 1 Civic Drive, Kew VIC 3101. Wednesdays 10.00am - 4.00pm / 2. Exhibitions & Public enquiries - 188 High Street, Kew VIC 3101. Fridays & Saturdays 11am - 1 pm.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

1 Civic Drive Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958. Its extensive collection of audiovisual resources, costumes, textiles, books, documents, maps and artefacts have been donated by individuals, families, groups and institutions (including local government) over a sixty-year period. The Society was declared a Class-B Place of Deposit for Government Records in August 2019. The collection includes items of local, statewide and national significance (Russell E, Significance Assessment, 2018) and in 2019/20 received a further grant for a Preservation Needs Assessment from the National Library of Australia. 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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4096 items

Headwear - Ivory Silk Floral Hat / by Harbig [of Melbourne], 1960s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Rounded hat covered with ivory coloured silk, simulated flowers attached to a stiffened net.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Harbig

Headwear - Straw Sun Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A natural undyed straw woman’s hat with a rounded crown and a wide brim. At the base of the crown there are added decorative elements comprising silk rosebuds and leaves and a purple ribbon. A band of cream tulle surrounds the floral decoration.

Headwear - Iridescent Feather 'Saucer' Hat / Unidentified Couturier [France], 1950s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A fashionably flat woman’s hat with an inverted rim. The whole is covered in tiny iridescent dark feathers. A numbered label stitched to the interior of the hat identifies that the hat was made in Paris, France. The label includes a stamped number 9102 and a handwritten ‘Col 10’.

Historical information

The 'flat' hat dominated millinery design in the 1950s. Most women sourced their hats from numerous Melbourne or suburban milliners while others purchased the products of French designers. A number of Australian companies were licensed to reproduce French designs. In very rare cases, Australian women purchased directly from a French couturier's collection. This inverted flat 'saucer' hat is an example of the latter.

Significance

This feather hat was donated by Marion Blatchley, a resident of 7 John Street, Kew, a member of the Society, and a collector of vintage fashion items. In terms of fine workmanship, it is the highest quality hat in the collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Stamped number 9102 and a handwritten ‘Col 10’.

Headwear - Black Felt Hat / by R&M Dower (Kew)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A circular black velvet brimless woman’s hat with a ribbed grosgrain strap at the back. The hat includes a small label identifying the maker as R&M Dower of 146 High Street, Kew.

Historical information

R&M Dower was a major millinery partnership located at 146 High Street, Kew in the 1940s and 1950s. Examples of this millinery firm's hats are in other major public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: "Phone WM8527 / R&M Dower. 146 High Street Kew"

Headwear - Red Velvet & Net Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A maroon velvet and net close fitting woman’s hat. The edging is formed from folded velvet.

Headwear - Green Felt Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A teal green felt woman’s hat in three layers of felt surmounted by a felt bow. Green sequins set in inverted triangular shapes surround the top of the second layer.

Headwear - Black Velvet & Net 'Mushroom' Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black velvet and net woman’s hat with small diamanté buttons. The mushroom shape highlights the wide brim.

Headwear - Blue Velvet Bowler Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Bowler-shaped woman’s hat made of blue velvet with a rolled brim that is covered in blue sequins.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Headwear - Top Hat / by Buzolich of Melbourne

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Man’s top hat created and retailed by Buzolich of Melbourne.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Buzolich, Strand Hat Shop, 17 Elizabeth St., between Flinders St., & Flinders Lane, near Station

Headwear - Polyacryl & Thermoplastisch 'Fedora' Hat / [Italy]

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Faux wool woman’s hat made of 'polyacryl' and 'thermoplastisch' in shades of blue and yellow. While the hat is based on the shape of a fedora the design is softened by the varying shades of colour in the weave.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: 70% Polyacryl 30% Thermoplastisch, Made in Italy

Headwear - Red Straw Hat / by Sheppard

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Red straw woman’s hat with a high rounded crown and an informal brim, upturned at the rear. The crown is banded by a red ribbon.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Distinction in fashion by Sheppard

Headwear - Cream Raffia & Silk Turban / by Estelle

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Plain straw woman’s hat with a narrow brim covered with pale green and pink silk roses and net.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: L’Estelle

Headwear - Multicoloured Turban

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Circular rimless woman’s hat wrapped with purple, pink and green fabric to create vibrant bands of colour.

Headwear - Multicoloured Feather Turban

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Circular woman’s hat covered with feathers of varying shapes and colours using a palette limited to cream, gold, brown and black.

Headwear - Green Beaded 'Pillbox' Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Circular woman’s hat, the crown and the rim separated by a band of green chiffon that is held in place by a green beaded clasp.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Headwear - Faux Ermine Fur Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Faux ermine black and white woman’s hat.

Historical information

Imitation fur products were initially popular due to their relative cheapness. As the 1960s progressed, faux fur became more popular due to social uneasiness about the wildlife and farmed fur trade. Whereas real fur hats might be seen as matronly, smart, light and bright, clearly fake fur hats were designed for a younger market, and proved more suitable to the light weight fabrics of dresses and coats that became fashionable in Australia in the 1950s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Headwear - Black Straw & Fabric Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wide brimmed black coloured straw hat with net and black fabric flowers.

Headwear - White Silk Hat / by Neal Evans

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White coloured hat using pieces of the same fabric as bands and as an abstract bow. The padded interior includes ribbon and lace on the internal rim.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Neal Evans

Headwear - Iridescent Feather Casque

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Woman’s hat covered in iridescent feathers. The hat was made in and imported from England by the retailer.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Made in England

Headwear - Cream Silk Floral Hat 'Cezanne' / by Erik London [C&G Kobenhaven]

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Ivory coloured woman’s hat bordered and almost completely covered with abstract floppy flowers of the same colour. Beside the label on the brim is the handwritten word ‘Cezanne’ which is presumably the name of the model.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Erik London. C & G Kobenhaven

Headwear - Blue Silk and Mesh Ribbon Hat, 1930s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Blue silk woman’s hat, comprising a rim of padded silk with a flattened bow behind. The centre of the hat is filled with gilded net, braid and medallions.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Headwear - Brocade Turban

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Woman’s hat made of stiffened patterned fabric in shades of blue, gold and white.

Headwear - Blue Silk & Net Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Half hat made of navy blue cotton, silk and net. The flattened decorative navy silk border is sculpted using folds of silk fabric.

Headwear - Red Velvet, Feather & Net Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Conical woman’s hat made of maroon felt, highlighted by a single feather dyed to a similar shade of red.

Headwear - Felt & Silk Velvet Cloche, 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

1920s navy blue felt cloche hat. The irregular border of the cloche is highlighted by a ruched band of emerald green velvet. The hat is part of the McIntyre Collection.

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.

Headwear - Conical Blue Felt Fez (Hat)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Conical woman’s hat made of deep blue felt. The hat is decorated with a single feather.

Headwear - Brown Fur Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Circular, brimless women's fur hat.

Historical information

Fur hats were a necessary accoutrement for fashionable women who wore furs. Typically, the fur hat might be purchased from the furrier to match the colour and often the pelt of the coat or stole, rather than from a milliner. Hats, like coats and stoles were often dyed to achieve uniformity of colour. Tastes in the colour of furs also changed over time, so hats, coats and stoles could be updated to match prevailing tastes. Until the 1960s in Australia, there were many furriers, who usually brought from Europe experience in identifying fur types. With the decline in the fur industry, these skills are noticeably scarcer in Australia today.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Headwear - Black Corduroy, Silk & Feather Hat, circa 1937

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Corduroy velvet cloche hat decorated with silk and feathers.

Headwear - Wide brimmed straw hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wide brimmed straw summer hat decorated with silk and a fabric rose.

Headwear - Conical Straw & Silk Hat

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Simple conical straw hat decorated with lace at the rim and crested with a [later] posy of flowers.