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Object Record

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Object ID # 1989.033.001abc
Object Name Dress, Wedding
Title 1862 Wedding Dress (later altered)
Lexicon category 3: Personal Artifacts
Date 1862
Year Range from 1862
Year Range to 1910
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Sydenham Township (formerly), Municipality of Meaford, Grey County
Description Iridescent brown-grey silk taffeta wedding dress with cummerbund-style belt, originally created c. 1860 but remodelled for further use/style.
A. Bodice -The bodice has pointed end lapels (possibly called revers?). They are trimmed with brown cord that has picot edges and dark-green woven ball decorations. There is a modesty piece of machine-made, ecru-coloured lace above a central area of horizontal tucks. Perhaps this is called a plastron (an insert between revers). There are long sleeves with cuffs trimmed with cord and pendant balls similar to the lapels. Below each cuff is a 13 cm-long lace cuff that has an opening with a two-hook closure. The lining of the bodice is a light-brown material. The bodice is pieced together. At the armholes, inside, there are white cotton pads. There are side gussets that are reinforced with white cotton material. The back of the bodice is a fully-opened one, which has 12 buttons for closure. The buttons are approx. 1.2 cm in diameter and are double-holed, darkish mother-of-pearl ones. The back of the bodice has long, vertical tucking. The bottom of the bodice has pinked edges and some metal eyes sewn on with black thread that correspond to hooks present at the skirt's waist. The exterior fabric is a finely-woven silk which has fine, trefoil floral motifs with a grey-brown-coloured ground.

B. Skirt -The skirt's exterior is made of the same fabric as the bodice. The side seams of the skirt have two sets of four large, self-covered buttons, which mark the flaring of some wide pleats. The hemline is plain and 4 to 5 cm deep. The front of the skirt has a full-length, decorative vertical tuck. The waist of the skirt is plainly finished, as it is intended to be hidden by the cummerbund.
The placket (opening) is approx. 25-26 cm long and has six black-finished snaps and some hooks and eyes. The skirt lining is a black, glossy fabric.

C. Cummerbund Belt -This is made of matching fabric. It has two large self-covered buttons for decoration at the front. It is also decorated with horizontal tucks. When closed, the item is 7 cm x 36 cm. It closes by means of three sets of hooks and eyes. There is a cream-coloured stiffening part which has rick-rack stitching on it.
Provenance Unknown. Worn by Margaret Telford when she married William Ross in 1862. They were the parents of Allan Ross, who wrote the book REMINISCENCES OF NORTH SYDENHAM, 1924, and John Ross (who made the pulpits that were once used in the Leith and Annan churches).

The Ross and Telford families lived in Sydenham Township, Grey County.
The dress was remodelled for Margaret's daughter Elizabeth about 1890 and given to Marion (Buzza) Ceasar about 1930. Marion Ceasar's grandmother was Jessie Ross, a sister of William Ross. Marion (Buzza) Ceasar was Margaret Mustard's mother.

The January 17, 1862 edition of THE OWEN SOUND TIMES mentioned that in the Lakeshore area of Sydenham Township (Annan area), Margaret Telford, the eldest daughter of Wm. P. Telford [1797-1879], was married to Mr. William H. Ross by Rev. R. Dewar. At that time the dress likely had a very full skirt and full sleeves.

The re-modelled dress now looks more c. 1905-1910 in its styling.

Collection Textiles, 19th-c Clothing Collection, Women's
Material Silk Taffeta/Cotton/Mother-of-Pearl/Thread/Metal
Found Sydenham Township (formerly), Municipality of Meaford, Grey County
Ross, William
Telford (the 1st), William Pattison
Ross, Margaret