Wedding dress; 1882; CS/6527


Wedding dress

About this object

Maggie Reid wore this dress when she married James Duncan at her home at West Taieri on 11 October 1882. She was the third daughter of James and Margaret Reid who came to Otago from Scotland, via Australia. Her parents and four older siblings arrived in Dunedin in 1855 from Victoria on the 'Gil Blas'. They settled on the Taieri plain at Woodside, where their farm ‘Broomfield Mains’ grew to be a substantial property. Maggie was born there in 1860. Her father died in 1872 but her mother and brothers carried on the farm. Margaret’s husband, James Duncan, was a Scottish blacksmith who had settled at Ngapara in North Otago. The couple lived there and later in Palmerston and raised a family of three girls and six boys. Margaret died in 1949 aged 88.

This dress is a two-piece costume with a very interesting bodice jacket. Its fabric is a purple/blue shot silk taffeta. It has blue satin piping around the sleeves and the watch pocket, as well as fawn buttons and a horizontal strip of blue satin above the bodice hem. The two patch pockets, decorated with fringing and buttons, are too awkwardly placed for practical use but there is a concealed pocket in the skirt at the front. The fringing is continued at the back with a net of delicately knotted fringe. The rear of this skirt is enlivened with a pair of tails. These echo the apron effects seen on the earliest wedding dresses in this selection. The dress is in fine condition but the delicate colouring of the silk has been badly faded by exposure to light.

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