Alternative Name(s): Frock

White cotton dress with extensive broderie anglaise. Believed to have been made in Victoria for Mary Ann Fleming, daughter of Scottish migrants Janet Robertson and Robert Fleming, who arrived in Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania) in 1830. In 1836 Janet and Robert crossed Bass Strait to Port Phillip (later Victoria) with their two sons and two ex-convict servants. They bought land in Collins Street in Melbourne's first land sale on 1 June 1837. Less than one week later, Janet gave birth to another son. She gave birth to six more children, of whom four died before the age of three. Janet herself died at the age of 48, in 1856. Robert Fleming grazed sheep on the land that is now Flemington Racecourse. Janet and Robert's daughters were Janet Cleghorn (1830-pre1836), Janet (1839-1910), Mary Ann (1840-1913) and Elizabeth (1843-1844).

The donor advises that dress was made in Australia following traditions brought from Scotland. It was passed down through the family. The dress is similar to that depicted in a portrait of Lucia McCrae, painted in 1843 by Georgiana McCrae, who then lived in Melbourne (National Gallery of Victoria, 2009.388).

An undergarment for the dress was made by Annette Soumilas for exhibition purposes in 2010.

Physical Description

White cotton with extensive broderie anglaise on bodice, belt and skirt. Skirt gathered to waist; scallopped hem. Short sleeves, gathered to cuff and shoulder; boat neckline. V-line bodice.

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