First Day Dress; 1861; 1996.89.3


First Day Dress

About this object

A woman's two piece burgundy and donkey brown silk damask costume with toning velvet underskirt. On the day after her marriage to Philip McRae in 1861, Bertha Scott wore this gorgeous first day dress. A first day dress showed that Bertha was now a respectable married woman. Bertha’s father, Captain Scott, was the fourth son of the Earl of Berclough. He ran away to sea rather than becoming a member of the clergy. According to family legend he was a gun-smuggler. Bertha’s mother accompanied him on many of his voyages and they eventually settled in Port Arthur, Tasmania. After a convict uprising, during which she protected her household with guns, she shifted her family to a safer place. The Scott family eventually emigrated to Nelson where Bertha subsequently met Philip.

Date Made


Place Made


Medium and Materials

Silk damask, velvet

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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