Object: Wedding Dress
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Unknown, circa 1909, Greymouth
|Classification||dresses, wedding dresses|
|Credit line||Gift of Vivienne Robertson, 1982|
This cream satin dress was worn at the wedding of Christina Thomson and Charles Haglund in 1909 in the town of Kumara, on the South Island’s West Coast – although it was actually made in the 1890s.
The elaborately detailed bodice of this dress consists of a pin-tucked central panel in V shape with woven ribbon and tulle frill detail on the neckline. Lace appliqué partly covers the front and back of the bodice across the pin-tucked area. The sleeves are gathered and each is studded with 10 fabric buttons and trimmed with woven ribbon and lace edging.
Despite its apparent isolation, in the late 1800s Kumara was a booming gold mining town. In 1877, it had a population of 4,220 compared with 328 today. One of the town's more prominent members, Richard Seddon, went on to become Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1893–1906.
The detail and superb craftsmanship of this dress reflects the affluence of a bygone era of Kumara’s history, and is reminiscent of many similar towns throughout New Zealand that have fallen into decline.
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