Child's hand-made dress, pure silk, smocked on bodice front and back and on sleeves.

The dress was purchased in November 1986 from a collection of largely unprovenanced clothing sold by the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society that were now 'of little use on stage but may be of considerable interest to Collectors or Museums, as all are originals, and many of them have never been worn on stage'. The dress was described by the vendor as 'Victorian', although noting the date is 'approximate only'.

A very similar garment is held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, described as a 'girl's smock dress of ivory washing silk, the yoke lined with white cotton twill', is dated 1910-1915 (museum number MISC.718-1992). Further research is required to more accurately date the style.

Physical Description

Child's dress, pure silk, smocked on bodice front and back; sleeves also have a row of smocking near bottom. Back opening has six button holes, hand-stitched, no buttons. A double row of silk-embroidered chevrons at yoke edge above rows of smocking. Bodice lined with cotton, torn vertically. Skirt falls into gathers with two pin-tucks and row of lace insert. Hemline interfaced with fine linen or lawn. Some attachment at neck has been removed. Hand-made with machine stitching on seams.


Purchased in November 1986 from a collection of mainly unprovenanced costume sold by the Tasmanian Repertory Club in Hobart.

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