Object Record

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Object Name Gown, Wedding
Description Wedding dress belonging to Emily Selbie (nee Wederell) 22 December 1868

Emily Wederell wore this dress when she married George Selbie on 22 December 1868 in Timaru, not long after the Great Fire. They had their wedding breakfast at the Old Bank Hotel on Stafford Street.

Wedding dresses often became the best dress for the new bride and so were made in the colour and style fashionable at the time. This hand-sewn, brown-and-tan striped silk wedding dress has a brown plaid velvet used as a trim. The small stand-up collar and square-shaped yoke, were fashionable features of the late 1860s. The wide skirt, with finely stroked gathers giving fullness at the back, was designed to be worn with a crinoline petticoat.

Emily was born in 1845 in Essex, England to Daniel and Maria Wederell. She sailed to Lyttelton in 1867 aboard the Lancashire Witch, following her brother Charles, who had immigrated ten years earlier.

George was born in 1837 in Berwickshire, Scotland to James and Margaret Selbie. He immigrated to Lyttelton on the Queen of Mersey in 1862 and worked at various farms and stations. After their marriage, George and Emily farmed at Milford until 1873, when George purchased a dairy farm known as ‘Grange Farm’ at Claremont. They had a family of two daughters and seven sons with descendants still living in the district.

George died in September 1913, while Emily died in Timaru in June 1926.

Brown & tan striped silk dress with trim of brown plaid velvet at cuff (90mm deep), collar (high standup), hem(75mm deep 35mm up from hem), & in square shape at yoke line; centre front opening to waist then left hand side skirt; japanned hooks & sewn bars. Dress lined with brown twill type cotton; bodice not boned;cream wool underarm protectors; princess shaped front and back with extra insert underarm at back; shoulder to waist 410mm; Long straight set in sleeves with 2 seams;remains of lace inside cuff waistband between bodice and skirt; silk belt with velvet trim & small bow at front, large bow at back, dark khaki brown lace at ends of sashes; skirt 6 panels front & back; pocket right hand side 2nd seam from side;fullness at back with gathers;handsewn.

Bust 790mm; shoulder-hem front 1410mm;back 1480mm;
Date 22/12/1868
Year Range from 1868
Catalogue Number 950/39.1
Dimensions W-79 L-141 cm
People Selbie, Emily, 1849-1926
Wederell, Emily, 1849-1926