Description
Its donor identified this dress as a wedding gown but no details of the date or identity of the bride were supplied. We can assume from its details that the wedding took place in the late 1870s. It was definitely made locally: it has a label for Brown and Ewing ‘silk mercers and costumiers’ of Princes Street.

It has some similarities in style to Jane Gow’s 1879 dress. It is a good example of the ‘Princess line’; following the body’s contours from the bust to the hips with no waistline. The skirt decoration is very elaborate with ruching, shaped flounces, and the double pennants to overhang the bustle and train, almost like the shortest of overskirts. The sleeve decoration combines ruching, a bow and piping. The little watch pocket over the waist is a tell-tale indicator of the late 1870s and early 1880s, with a concealed pocket in the skirt. The dress is made of French gray silk taffeta. It is in excellent condition with few signs of wear or soiling apart from damage to the buttons. The quality of its construction and finish testifies to the skill of the Dunedin dressmakers employed by Brown Ewing.

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