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A8338 Dress, womans, comprising bodice, skirt and textile sample, silk / cotton / wool / metal / glass, worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley), possibly made by S C Rush, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1896. Click to enlarge.

Dress worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley)

Made
Two piece dress comprising long sleeved bodice and separate floor length skirt. Both pieces are made from pale salmon pink silk / wool fabric with green and cream coloured flecks.

Boned long sleeved bodice with high collar fastening at centre front with eighteen metal hooks and thread eyes. Sleeves are leg-of-mutton style with stiffened, turned up cuffs. Self jabot or cravat down centre front devided into two with a machine made lace ruff attached to wearers right side at neck. Shoulders are …

Summary

Object No.

A8338

Object Statement

Dress, womans, comprising bodice, skirt and textile sample, silk / cotton / wool / metal / glass, worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley), possibly made by S C Rush, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1896

Physical Description

Two piece dress comprising long sleeved bodice and separate floor length skirt. Both pieces are made from pale salmon pink silk / wool fabric with green and cream coloured flecks.

Boned long sleeved bodice with high collar fastening at centre front with eighteen metal hooks and thread eyes. Sleeves are leg-of-mutton style with stiffened, turned up cuffs. Self jabot or cravat down centre front devided into two with a machine made lace ruff attached to wearers right side at neck. Shoulders are decorated with large machine made lace frills and the edges of the collar, cuffs, revers and the hem of bodice are all decorated with a metal sequin and glass bead trim. Centre back hem is trimmed with a bow, and centre front hem is decorated with a band with fabric rosettes fastening with a hook and eye closure. Fully lined in cream cotton with stripes of brown branch-like pattern. Sweat pads attached to inside of both underarms, with two hooks at inside centre back hem to attach to eyes on skirt.

Gored floor length skirt of three panels with bustle at centre back. Skirt fastens at centre back opening and waistband with two metal hooks and eyes. Internal pocket at wearers back right forms part of bustle. Centre front of skirt indicated by four dark coloured crosses in thread on outside of waistband. Skirt lined in beige coloured cotton with brown velvet band along inside of hem. Three metal eyes at centre back waist to attach to hooks on bodice.

Spare piece of irregularly shaped fabric, the same as the two-piece dress.

Production

Possibly made

Notes

It was originally thought that the dress was made by a dressmaker named S. Mersle. This information came from a copy of a letter that was supplied by the donor, and written by the maker to Miss Shelley. On closer inspection of this letter, it appears that the name at the bottom of the letter may in fact be S.C. Rush. This is supported by Sand's Sydney and New South Wales Directory, 1896, that states that a S.C. Rush lived at 47 Regent Street, Paddington, the address at the top of the letter. The possibility that S.C. Rush was a dress maker is supported by a job advertisement that appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 15 April 1890, six years before the garment was made. The advertisement reads "DRESSMAKING - Wanted, IMPROVERS, neat workers. Mrs C. S. Rush, 17 Regent St, Paddington".

History

Notes

This dress was worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley) shortly after her marriage to Francis Charles Cabrera at St Mary's Church Balmain in 1896.

Elizabeth and Francis spent their married lives in Thirlmere, New South Wales, where they ran an orchard and brought up two children, Frank and Margaret.

Francis was born in London in 1859. As a youth, he went to Canada and spent four or five years there before travelling to Australia with a couple of friends. When Francis' friends returned to Canada, he remained in Australia, finally settling in Thirlmere, after living in various locations in New South Wales. In Thirlmere, he became interested in the timber industry and growing fruit. He planted his orchard soon after his marriage and began business ventures with Mr C. H. Pickard, the owner of the general store.

As a devout member of the Anglican Church, Francis was amongst those who established St Stephen's Church of England, the mission church in Thirlmere. He was a church lay-reader who often took the minister's place when he was held up by bad weather.

Elizabeth died in Canideu District Hospital on 3rd May, 1932, four years before her husband. She was 74 years old. Francis died at home in Thirlmere on February 13 1936, nursed by his daughter, Margaret. He had sold his orchard 15 months before his death and was bedridden for the last year of his life. Elizabeth and Francis were laid to rest side by side in the Church of England section of Thilmere cemetary.

Elizabeth can be seen wearing the dress in the photograph taken at The Crown Studios, corner of George and Market Streets, Sydney. It was donated to MAAS by Francis and Elizabeth's grandchildren in 1982.

Information from death notice, Elizabeth Bath Cabrera, Picton Post, Wednesday 7th September, 1932 and Obituary, Francis Cabrera, Picton Post 4th March, 1936.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Alan Cabrera, 1982

Acquisition Date

2 July 1982

Cite this Object

Harvard

Dress worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley) 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 29 July 2021, <https://ma.as/196767>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/196767 |title=Dress worn by Elizabeth Cabrera (nee Shelley) |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=29 July 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.