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Object: Wedding dress

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Title Wedding dress
Production Unknown, circa 1909, Naples
Materials silk, cotton, metal
Classification wedding dresses, bodices, skirts
Technique sewing, lace making
Dimensions Overall: 530mm (Height) x 360mm (Width)
Overall: 1070mm (Length)
Credit line Gift of Margaret Fulford, 2009
Registration number GH016409/1-2

This lilac silk dress was worn by Rosa Criscillo at her wedding to Antonio Moleta in Wellington on 5 May 1909.

The bodice consists of a V-shaped cream lace ruffle on the chest and shoulder, with a lace overlaid chest insert with a high neck. As was typical of the time, it has full-length, puffed sleeves, gathered at the forearm with cream lace cuffs. The bodice has stays and is lined in warm pink cotton. The skirt is gently flared with minimal decoration, except for a few lace appliquéd flowers. The inside hem is protected by a pink cotton strip with narrow brown edging.

This dress was made in Naples and brought to New Zealand by Rosa for her wedding day. Rosa travelled from Stromboli, Italy, accompanied by her father and brother, to marry Antonio Moleta, whom she had never met. Before she arrived, a proxy marriage was signed by Bishop Redwood in Wellington. The day she arrived, wearing this dress, the couple sealed their marriage at the Wellington Registry Office.

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