Coates Wedding Gown; 1873; 1990.1053.1-5


Coates Wedding Gown

About this object

Dress worn by Elizabeth Philips from Sudley Village, Gloucestershire at her wedding at St. Mary’s Cathedral Parnell on Jan 23rd 1873 to Mr. Thomas Coates. She wore it again for a photograph on her Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1923 (see photograph 1996_593_9).
This dress is of lavender silk taffeta and has five parts. Under and over skirt, a under bodice and jacket, with a bow to finish.
1. Lavender silk taffeta underskirt lined with stiffened calico. Skirt is paneled and the back section is gathered with fine accordion pleating to accommodate a bustle and has a train. Pleated into a narrow waistband and fastened on left side front by two metal hooks with thread eyes. Pocket set in right hand seam and lined with calico. Metal hooks are at inside side waistband to attach to a bodice. Bound at hem with a cord ribbon possibly once velvet. Inside bottom of train is stamped in blue ink with half of a logo which reads, ‘toria-law’(possibly Victoria-lawn).
2. Overskirt which is about knee length, and is gathered onto a waistband at back. Fastened at left side back with a metal hook and eye. Fuller at back with a small train, apron front. Hem is finished with two flounces trimmed and edged with a slightly different colour lavender satin ribbon. Three bows of self fabric, bound with satin ribbon down centre front.
3. Lavender silk taffeta and satin ribbon belt with a decorative peplum of a bow of self fabric bound by satin ribbon in front of waist band. Waistband is stiffened and has a strip of chain stitched satin ribbon on outer side, fastened at centre back by two metal hooks and eyes. Peplum is in four sections, each finished with a satin bound flounce. Each section also has the chain stitched ribbon along edge. Worn over skirt.
4. Lavender silk taffeta bodice, lined with white polished cotton fabric. Square neck line finished with piping. Double breasted front fastening on left hand side of centre front. The centre front fastening of nine hooks with corresponding 8 eyelets and two thread loops are covered by a panel of hand gathered self fabric which is fastened by six metal hooks and thread loops. Boned with whale bone in front and side seams, three bones either side. Princess line shaped seams at back. Sleeves are set in and piping is between bodice and shaped sleeve in the seam. Above cuff is a chain stitched bias satin band. Around hem of this short bodice are three metal eyes to attach to underskirt. Hem has piping finish.
5. Jacket with high round neck of same lavender silk taffeta and trimmed with chain stitched satin ribbon. Bodice is boned with whale bone at centre front fastening at each end of the two are bust darts from waist, and the two side seams from waist. Fastened down centre front with nine button holes with clear glass buttons with three horizontal ridges and three vertical ridges in which the thread has been sewn to giving a checked effect to the buttons. Satin silk ribbon decorates jacket in a square shape in front from which a flounce of self fabric bound by ribbon is attached, finishes in a V at back. Sleeves have piping in seam to bodice. Sleeves are wide reflecting 1870’s style, with a wide flounce at cuff running from bow at elbow. Inside of cuff lined with a cream silk fabric which is in box pleats at top of flounce.

Date Made


Place Made


Subject and Association Description

wedding fashion 1870's, colonial New Zealand

Credit Line

Mrs Thelma Underwood

Object Type

Wedding gown

Object number



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