The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
A7882 Dress with petticoat, women's, muslin / silk, maker unknown, worn by Ann Marsden at Government House Ball, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1822. Click to enlarge.

Ball gown thought to have been worn by Ann Marsden

Made in Australia, Oceania, c 1822.

The ‘Empire’ style muslin gown and petticoat is one of a number of costumes in the Museum’s collection that were worn by the Marsden family, and is believed to have been worn by Ann Marsden (1794 - 1885) to the Government House Ball in 1822. Ann was the daughter of Reverend Samuel Marsden, a prominent figure in colonial New South Wales, and Elizabeth Marsden. On 1 January 1793 Marsden accepted the appointment as assistant to the chaplain of New South Wales. Elizabeth and Samuel married at Holy T...

Summary

Object No.

A7882

Object Statement

Dress with petticoat, women's, muslin / silk, maker unknown, worn by Ann Marsden at Government House Ball, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1822

Physical Description

A cream coloured muslin dress and silk petticoat, worn by Ann Marsden at a Government House Ball in 1822. The dress fabric features a thickly woven stripe (or rib) running vertically through it. It has an empire waist, long sleeves with lace cuffs at the wrists and short puff sleeves over the shoulders of the long sleeves. The dress features a high rounded neck, which buttons down the back and there are ties at the back on the waist of the dress. Around the hem of the skirt is a lace border with a scalloped edge. Floral motifs can be seen embroidered just above the lace border. The dress has been lined with cheesecloth, which is believed to be a later addition. The silk petticoat accompanying the dress has an empire waist, short sleeves and a square neckline. The sleeves, neckline and hem are trimmed with satin ribbon. There are ties at the back of the petticoat and a small covered button fastens at the back of the bodice.

Dimensions

Width

870 mm

Depth

1210 mm

Production

Notes

This dress is based on the same pattern as Ann Marsden's wedding dress and was reputedly worn in the same year to the Government House Ball. Like Ann's wedding dress it is very plain by the standard of contemporary English fashion. The Marsden's were quite wealthy by this time so could afford more elaborate local and imported fashions. However they were a pious family and this may be reflected in their dress. This fine tambour-embroidered muslin was probably imported from India.

This dress is made in the 'Empire' style, with high waist, long lace-cuffed sleeves and high round colour. The extremely high waist of the dress is some four years behind the fashion of the times. This may reflect the fact that fashion news was slow to arrive and be accepted in the colony.

Made

Australia, Oceania c 1822

History

Notes

It is believed that this dress was worn by Ann Marsden at a ball at Government House (now Old Government House) in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia in 1822.

This dress, along with other costumes in the Marsden collection, was given to the Royal Australian Historical Society in 1919 by the executors of the estate of Eliza Hassall (2/11/1834 - 26/12/1917). Eliza was the daughter of Reverend Thomas Hassall and Ann Hassall (nee Marsden), born in 1834, and a granddaughter of Samuel Marsden. The garments were exhibited during the Society's 1920 Exhibition, along with subsequent exhibitions.

The Marsden costume collection was donated to the Museum in 1981.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 1981

Acquisition Date

30 July 1981

Cite this Object

Harvard

Ball gown thought to have been worn by Ann Marsden 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 October 2019, <https://ma.as/195000>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/195000 |title=Ball gown thought to have been worn by Ann Marsden |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US