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Image of Gown, Wedding - 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;

Gown, Wedding - 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;

Object Type: Object

Image of Dress - 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.

Dress - 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.

Object Type: Object