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  1. 18th century waistcoat
    1770 - 1780

    Private collectors

    Captain James Cook (1728-1779) was a brilliant British explorer, navigator, and cartographer who, among many other achievements, was the first European to document the east coast of Australia. He was sadly killed in Hawaii during a dispute with the locals. This embroidered silk waistcoat was reputedly worn by Captain James Cook and is of great interest to historians. It poses intriguing questions that we hope will, in time, be answered. If it truly belonged to this explorer then it is ... more

  2. Cooke wedding dress
    1883

    Alstonville Plateau Historical Society Inc

    While wedding gowns are not rare in museums, this gown has such good provenance that it is significant. There is much documentation associated with this gown and its maker, Isabella Cooke. The APHS has a very comprehensive collection of Isabella's handiwork illustrating her fine needlework, sewing, quilting, crochet, tatting and embroidery. Four years after her marriage she travelled to the north coast, first of all settling in Bexhill, then Corndale and finally retiring with her husband to Alstonville. Her ... more

  3. Privy Councillor's uniform of Joseph Cook, Prime Minister
    1914

    Parramatta Heritage Centre

    This uniform and insignia are historically significant because they are a wonderful example of quite a rare and important costume in early Australian culture. The insignia is especially rare, as the number presented every year are limited and recipients after 1948 have to return the insignia to the British Crown upon their deaths. The fact that the uniform belongs to Joseph Cook also makes it significant. Cook was voted in as the MP for Hartley in the New South Wales ... more

  4. Cream two piece outfit
    1890 - 1910

    Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum

    This garment is significant as it is part of a 100 piece collection of clothes that belonged to the Bayldon family who were important members of Coffs Harbour society from 1870 to the present day. The Bayldons were a very important family in the history of the Sawtell and Toormina region of New South Wales, just South of Coffs Harbour and this is remembered even today. When the local council established a new housing estate near Sawtell it was called ... more

  5. Wedding dress, slip, veil and bride record book
    1941 - 1956

    Brunswick Valley Historical Society

    The ensemble of wedding clothes and records are historically and socially significant objects held by the Brunswick Valley Historical Society. The ensemble includes a wedding dress, slip and veil and was made with precious clothing coupons for the wedding of Eunice Gray Mortimer and Oswald Edwin Douglas during WW II. Close to 60 brides borrowed all or part of the ensemble including around 20 such wartime brides. A miniature leather bound book accompanies the wedding clothes. Recorded inside are the ... more

  6. Bessie Rouse's crimson silk outfit
    1874 - 1876

    Sydney Living Museums

    This crimson bodice was probably worn by Bessie Rouse as an elegant presentation robe, possibly before she was married to Edwin Stephen Rouse in 1874. Bessie remained the influential mistress of Rouse Hill House from her marriage until 1924. Her outfit does not show extensive signs of wear although Bessie appears to have moved the red glass buttons across 30mm to allow for an expanding waistline. This may possibly relate to her two pregnancies. Presentation robes often boasted extravagant trained ... more

  7. Miss Matilda Clarke's wedding gown
    1858

    Hills Historical Society

    This dress gives us an insight into the social history of the mid 19th century. It is a rare survival from the 1850s. It also has a good provenance that links it to a family who remained based in NSW since the 1840s. This dress was probably only worn for a brief period in Matilda's life (possibly only two and a half years) and was most likely put away as a precious object after she became pregnant with her ... more

  8. Hilda Smith's black silk satin and lace dress
    1908 - 1912

    Griffith Pioneer Park Museum

    This dress is a significant example of a well provenanced stylish dress worn for special occasions by a pioneering woman. This well-made black dress belonged to Hilda Mabel Smith, nee Spencer who was born in Braidwood in 1884. The dress may have been made during a trip to Sydney between 1908 and 1912. Hilda came from a family of pioneering horsemen of the Snowy Mountains river region and married Neil Smith in April 1914. Hilda and Neil spent several years ... more

  9. Morning suit
    1882 - 1884

    Grenfell Historical Society

    This suit is significant in its historical portrayal of the more formal clothing order of the late 1800s. Although not really suitable for the Australian climate and way of life in rural NSW the owner purchased it in England as part of the new life he was about to embark on. The fact that the suit has remained almost fully intact shows the significance the garment had to the owner and his descendants. Whilst it is quite common for formal ... more

  10. Velvet Afghan Jacket
    1890 - 1894

    Broken Hill Migrant Heritage Committee (Inc)

    The significance of this jacket is still being researched. According to family members Shamroze Khan bought this jacket on a pilgrimage to Mecca; date unknown. However, in 2009 the Indian Consul viewed the jacket in the Broken Hill Migrant Museum and stated the jacket was too ornate to have been purchased during a pilgrimage to Mecca. Contrary to this opinion staff of the South Australian Mosque indicated the jacket would have been bought on a trip to or from Mecca ... more

  11. Wedding dress worn by Isabella Elizabeth Jobling
    1846

    Port Macquarie Historical Society

      This petite and pretty wedding dress is one of the oldest in the Port Macquarie Historical Society collection. Isabella Elizabeth Jobling [1821-1883] wore this dress for her marriage to Christopher Dawson Fenwick [1815-1895] on 4 August 1846 at St Thomas' Anglican Church, Port Macquarie. The marriage was announced by a notice in the Sydney Morning Herald. The wedding appears to have been a quiet affair consistent with Church of England ceremonies of the period. The style of this dress ... more

  12. De Bortoli cream silk 1920s wedding dress
    1928 - 1929

    De Bortoli Family

    This cream silk wedding dress was worn by Giuseppina (Pineta) Bisa for her marriage to Vittorio De Bortoli in 1929 at Bilbul, near Griffith, New South Wales. The dress was purchased from a French catalogue when Giuseppina was working as a maid for a wealthy family in Lyon in France, saving for her fare to Australia. After the wedding, Giuseppina altered the dress so it could be worn for evening occasions. She removed the sleeves and lace fringing, storing these ... more