Rust brown two piece outfit

Contributed by: Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum

Rust slk taffeta skirt and jacket Jacket Front of skirt showing velvet trimmed flaps Front of jacket Skirt front detail Sleeve detail Sleeve detail Dress interior Dress interior Dress interior Underarm staining on jacket Labels on waist band Labels on waistband Bayldon family crest William and Eliza Bayldon William and Eliza when young Bayldon panorama
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Object information

Significance statement

This garment is significant as it is part of 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 Bayldon in William Bayldon's memory, but in later years it was incorporated into Toormina. As well as this a local primary school in Toormina is called the William Bayldon Public School.

The size of the collection also makes it significant, with well over 100 pieces covering underwear, skirt, blouses, jackets, hats, scarves, and accessories. It is rare to have so many garments belonging to one family and for them to be in such good condition.

Another significant point is that the collection has been handed down through the generations. Cheryl Dal Pozzo, who donated the items to the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum, inherited the clothes from her aunt Nancy and she inherited the clothes from her grandmother Emily, who had collected them from her sisters.

Author: Cheryl Dal Pozzo, 3rd November 2009.


Garment made from soft corded silk fabric and consists of a skirt and jacket.

Skirt is made of panels with the front panel consisting of three overlapping flaps edged with brown velvet. Each of these flaps is curved in shape being deeper in the centre than on the sides. Each flap has a bow at the seam join. Skirt length is longer at the back than the front forming a small train. There is a centre back opening with metal hook and eye closure at the waist. The waist band is a length of tape. There is a pocket in the right seam at the side of the centre front panel. The flaps are lined. The lower edge of the skirt has been hemmed with cotton bias tape.

Jacket has a small stand up collar trimmed in brown velvet.

Written on the waistband of the skirt are the words "London, Paris, Vienna, prize medals, diploma of honour, gold medals"

The garment appears to have been altered to fit successive family members.

History and Provenance

Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information

Transcripts of the death certificates of Elizabeth Bayldon (1899), William Bayldon (1900), Mary Grace Bayldon (1925) and E.K.V. Bayldon (1941)

Eliza Matilda Bayldon nee Leamon (1819? - 1899)

William Edward Bayldon (1818-1900)

Annie Amy Fisher nee Bayldon (1841-1921)

Charles William Edward Bayldon (1843?-??)

Mary Grace Bayldon (1846?-1925)

Jon Louis Phillip Bayldon (1847?-??)

James Joseph Bayldon (1850-??)

Beatrice Marx nee Bayldon (1851-??)

Lavinia Hennings nee Bayldon (1851-??)

Elizabeth Catherine/Kathleen Valentine (1853?-1941)

Emily Whaites nee Bayldon (1855-1943)

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

Eliza and William Bayldon's children were: Annie Amy, Charles William, Mary Grace, Jonothan Louis, James Joseph, Beatrice & Lavinia (twins), Eliza Catherine and Emily.

By 1858 William decided to move his family to a 100 acre farm at Ulmarra near Grafton where he raised cattle and high quality stock horses. In 1864 he moved his family with their possessions, including one of the region's first pianos, to land just below Boat Harbour (now Bellingen). William was a JP in the early 1870s.

At some point after 1870, following a series of attacks on his property by local Indigenous people, William, Eliza and some of the children (now adults) moved back to Sydney.

An area near Sawtell was named "Bayldon" in his memory and the local primary school is called the William Bayldon Public School.

Their youngest daughter Emily did her nurses training at the Lucy Osborne Nightingale Hospital in Sydney, but on the 24th February 1885 she married a William John Whaites, a widower and a shipping pilot, who had one young son. William was given a post on the Nambucca River and Emily's nurses training would have been of help to her husband and the people of the Nambucca, as in his role of pilot William was called on by people in need of medical and dental assistance. Emily and William had four sons and one daughter all born on the Nambucca.

How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?

It is not known who originally wore the dresses in this collection, but they all belonged to either Eliza Bayldon (died in 1899) or her daughters Annie Amy (1841-1921), Mary Grace (died in 1925), Beatrice, Lavinia, Eliza Catherine Valentine (died in 1941), or Emily (1855-1943).

Eliza first came to South Australia in 1838 with her first husband. She married William Bayldon in 1840 in Adelaide, where their first daughter Annie was born in 1841. William then sold his business and moved his family back to England.

For many reasons, including the economic boom precipitated by the discovery of gold in Australia, William and Eliza decided to move back in the hope of a better life for their family. While they were in Sydney their ninth child Emily was born in 1855.

Eliza's six daughters grew to adulthood. Annie, her eldest, married Hurtle Fisher who is known as the "Father of Victorian Thoroughbreds". Beatrice married Eugene Theophil Marx and Lavinia married Henry Hennings. Mary and Eliza Catherine Valentine, who both lived long lives, never married. Eliza's youngest daughter Emily trained as a nurse and used her skills to assist her husband William Whaites who was a pilot on the Nambucca River.

When Whaites retired he and Emily moved to Burwood and following his death Emily cared for her older sister Eliza. It is probable that it was during this period that Emily acquired clothes that once belonged to her mother and sisters as well as other items of family memorabilia.

Where did this information come from?

Family history as told to Cheryl Dal Pozzo (great granddaughter of Emily Bayldon).

This garment has been exhibited

This garment was exhibited along with the others in the collection by the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum. Many descendants of the original owners attended the exhibition.

  1. Place of origin:

    Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

  2. Owned by:

    Female member of the Bayldon family

    Emily Whaites nee Bayldon (from unknown date until 1943)

    Nancy Sewell, Whaites' granddaughter (from 1943)

    Cheryl Dal Pozzo, Sewell's niece

    Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum

  3. Worn by:

    Female members of the Bayldon family

  4. Designed by:


  5. Made by:

    Unknown (name obscured, but manufacture label present).

Trimmings / Decoration

Brown velvet edging around collar, sleeves, skirt flaps.

Self fabric bows edged in brown velvet.

Fibre / Weave

Fine corded silk and velvet

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye


Garment appears to be hand sewn


Written on waist band are words "London, Paris, Vienna, prize medals, diploma of honour, gold medals"


Garment has been altered to fit different family members (?)

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


  1. Bias
  2. Straight


Metal hooks and eyes

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

Stiffening / Lining / Padding

Soft boning inserted into front and under arm of jacket


jacket skirt
Neck 415 mm
Chest 785 mm
Waist 710 mm
Hem circumference 3660 mm
Front waist to hem 950 mm
Back neck to hem 360 mm
Back waist to hem 1010 mm
Sleeve length 440 mm
Neck to sleeve head 155 mm
Convert to inches

Jacket: Underarm to waist: 160 mm

Sleeve underarm to wrist: 355 mm

Additional material

Articles, publications, diagrams and receipts descriptions

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate Nov. 19, 2005: 'Bayldon Historical Roots Grow Deep'

Other related objects

A complete collection of objects including underwear, nightwear, blouses, jackets, hats, skirts, camisoles, scarves, wraps and dresses. Some of the underwear is embroidered with the initials E.C.V.B. (Eliza Catherine Valentine Bayldon)

There are also handbags, a calling card holder and the top hat worn by William Bayldon when he was a JP. This was kept wrapped in a silk scarf in an oval metal hat box.

There is also one child's dress.

There are photographic portraits of Eliza and William Bayldon hanging in the foyer of William Bayldon Public School.


Evidence of repairs

This outfit has had a lot of wear. The velvet shows signs of thinning, there are watermarks and small holes on both the skirt and jacket.

There are soiling marks at the underarms of the jacket. There is some separation on the skirt and jacket.


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


  1. Holes
  2. Stained
  3. Torn
  4. Water damage
  5. Worn
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