Object Record

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Object Name Dress
Description Mid brown / tan silk skirt with train which matches bodices 977/44.1 and .2

WAIST Turned over waistband through which white elastic has been threaded through. This is a recent alteration as the elastic appears to be quite new and this does not match the style of the skirt or the bodices.

FRONT is made up from 3 gores. The central one is largest with a smller one to each side. They flare out with no decoration to a straight hem.

BACK also of 3 panels but appears to have more fullness than front and is longer than front forming small train at the back. Also no decoration. Has small white label inside on which is written E C 150.91 Hurdley

Skirt appears to be extensively altered.

Wedding dress
belonging to Catherine Groundwater
c. 1873 with additional bodice c. 1885

Catherine McLean married Thomas Groundwater in 1873 wearing this tan-coloured silk dress. Little is known of the couple but they had at least eight children and are both buried in the cemetery at Geraldine. The dress was donated to the South Canterbury Museum by her granddaughter, Mrs Mary Nancy Flowers.

The skirt has been substantially altered with all the decorative trim expected of an early 1870s bustle dress removed. The bodice displayed with the skirt retains the original style and trim. Rust brown silk has been used as a contrasting trim on the bows at the centre front and on the ruffle that falls from the shoulder.

The wide shoulder line and the curved sleeve were typical features on late 1860s and early 1870s dresses. By this time the shape of the skirt had changed from the bell-shaped crinoline to the flat-fronted bustle dresses. The original dress may have had an overskirt with apron front, and draped bustle falling to a train at the back.

The other bodice, which is boned, appears to have been made in the 1880s and perhaps the skirt was altered to match the style of this later date. It is fastened with 20 exquisite little buttons and has the slight puff at the top of the sleeve which was common in the late 1880s.

Date 1885
Year Range from 1885
Catalogue Number 977/44.3
Dimensions W-50 L-97 cm
People Groundwater, Catherine
Groundwater, Thomas