Christening gown with shawl and bonnet

Contributed by: Quirindi and District Historical Society

Shawl - detail of butterfly embroidery Christening Gown - front view Christening Gown, Bonnet and Shawl - back view Bonnet
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Object information

Significance statement

This outfit is significant in several categories - historic, aesthetic, social and spiritual: also its rarity and association with prominent Quirindi families. Much handwork has gone into the production of this set of garments, for a special family event, a religious ceremony and an occasion for family celebration.

This beautifully embroidered christening gown, with shawl and bonnet is believed to be the christening robe of Mary Elizabeth Cobbett. Mary was born at Balmoral, New South Wales on November 24th 1892, the daughter of Stephen and Ada Cobbett. Stephen Cobbett was Stationmaster at Qulirlindi around 1910 - 1916. Mary married Cecil Andrtew "Jerry" Moore from Quirindi on October 20th 1917 in the garden of "Kenmore" at Green Point near Gosford New South Wales. They lived in Quirindi until 1934.

Author: Quirinidi and District Historical Society, 30th July 2010.


Silk embroidered baby's gown, front opening with press studs at waist and neck, crocheted edging.

Bonnet heavily embroidered.

Shawl with crocheted edging, embroidery on each corner, one the initial M (Mary), one butterfly, two floral patterns.

History and Provenance

Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information

Mary was born on November 24th 1892.

Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?

Mary was born at Balmoral New South Wales Nov. 24th 1892, the daughter of Stephen and Ada Corbett. Mary's father was the Station Master at Quirindi 1910 - 1916, and appreciated in the community for a colourful flower garden he established on the railway platform. The family lived in the near-by Station Masters' Residence, opposite the Historical Cottage Museum. Mary married Cecil Andrew (Jerry) Moore from Quirindi on October 20th 1917 in the garden of "Kenmore" at Green Point nr. Gosford NSW. Mary and Cecil lived in Dalley St. Quirindi until Cecil's death in 1934.

How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?

Mary Cobbett was associated with Quirindi both through her parents and by her marriage to a prominent local business man, Mr. C.A. Moore of Moore Bros. Stock and Station Agents.

The christening gown illustrates the style of garment for this occasion.

  1. Place of origin:

    Balmoral, New South Wales, Australia

  2. Owned by:

    Cobbett family.The father was station master at quirindi station.

  3. Worn by:

    Mary Elizabeth Cobbett

  4. Occasion(s):

    Her christening.

  5. Place:

    Balmoral New South Wales - church denomination unknown.

  6. Designed by:

    Her mother Ada?

  7. Made by:

    Her mother or other members of family.

  8. Made for:

    Mary's christening.

Trimmings / Decoration

Crocheted edgings and waistline, embroidered patterns on surfaces of frock and shawl.

Cut work embroidery on bonnet.


see below

Fibre / Weave

Cream coloured silk for all three items

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye


  1. Hand sewn
  2. Machine sewn
  3. Knitted
  4. Other


  1. Bias
  2. Straight


2 press studs

  1. Hook and eye
  2. Lacing
  3. Buttons
  4. Zip
  5. Drawstring


Neck 270 mm
Waist 480 mm
Hip 620 mm
Hem circumference 620 mm
Front neck to hem 550 mm
Back waist to hem 385 mm
Sleeve length 145 mm
Convert to inches

Shawl: 800mm x 900mm

Bonnet: front to back: 260 mm

side to side: 300mm

Dress Themes

The bonnet has no ribbons so it could be quickly removed from the baby's head. The dress was coat like, so it could be easily slipped off to reveal simple clothing underneath, to protect this precious garment.

Additional material

Articles, publications, diagrams and receipts descriptions

Information in: "Quirindi 1900 - 1919" by D. Durrant.

Other related objects

The museum has other items relating to the Cobbett and Moore families in the archive.


Stains appear to be ink (on dress)

Holes in shawl & dress small.

Mould damage

Iron mould on gown.


  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Poor


  1. Holes
  2. Stained
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