Shoes; XEC.63.2



About this object

This pair of cream coloured shoes was worn by Marian Clendon on her marriage to Thomas Lumsden Millar on 22 February 1882 in Rawene in the Hokianga region. Marian’s wedding gown (XCH.63.1) as well as a floral spray accessory (XCH.63.3) are also part of the collection of Clendon House.

The tradition of brides wearing white gowns and accessories on their wedding day dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It followed the fashionable style set by members of the British royal family, especially Queen Victoria on her marriage to Prince Alfred in 1840. (1)

Although the white colour of a wedding dress is widely believed to symbolise the bride’s virginity and purity, Victoria and Albert Museum curator Edwina Ehrman states that the colour white actually symbolised wealth. In the days when washing was done painstakingly by hand with a washboard, a white dress was almost impossible to clean thoroughly. It was also a dress which was only worn once, so it was only for those who could afford this expense. (2)

(1) Sandra Coney, I Do: 125 Years of Weddings in New Zealand (Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995).
(2) Edwina Ehrman, The Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014).

For more information about the Clendon family and Clendon House, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials

Satin, elastic and leather

Inscription and Marks

The size of the shoe '6/5' has been marked inside near the centre front.


Each shoe measures 16 x 27 x 65cm

Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Clendon House, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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