Costume Collection

A surprising and unexpected costume collection comprising locally made and worn fashion.

The Costume Collection tells the fashion history of Melbourne and Victoria. The strengths of the collection are in the locally made and worn costumes, dating from 1850–1970 and in the work of contemporary Victorian designers inspired by the collection for their own designs.

The collection chronicles the social history of fashion and dressmaking, showing the luxurious alongside the humble. The many items range from ephemeral items such as trims and fripperies, parlour aprons and cosmetics to elaborate and exuberant 19th century ball gowns, dancing slippers and millinery.

Items from the Costume Collection regularly compliment displays at Trust properties as well as feature in Trust exhibitions like Love Desire & Riches: The Fashion of Wedding Dresses and Victoriana: Pleasure Garden Photography and Costume Exhibition.

The Costume Collection at Labassa is available to researchers and special interest groups by appointment only. To make an appointment please call 03 9656 9832 during business hours.

The costume collection provides insight into patterns of consumption, emigration, trade and social change.

Bridal Corset ‘The Celebrated C.B. Bridal Corset’

Maker: l’toile C.B. (France?) Date: 1890
Silk, coutil, whalebone ?, lace, metal

Corset in silk satin with floss embroidery. Delicate flowers are embroidered over breast gussets. The corset has metal slot and stud fastening down the front of busk and is back lacing with metal eyelets. Silk floss embroidery features at top and bottom of boning channels on front of corset to prevent boning from penetrating the exterior silk. Interior is linked with coutil.

Wedding Hair Wreath. Melbourne, c 1885

Artificial flowers, wax, leather, paper, wire, paper, cambric.

Mourning Locket. Melbourne, c 1880

Jet, photograph, silk, human hair, metal.

447 section

George Andrews’ Diary The Polly Woodside

In 1904 George Andrews signed on as a seaman on the barque Polly Woodside. From Christchurch, New Zealand, Andrews first journey aboard the Polly Woodside was
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National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Classification Files

The National Trust Heritage Register is the most comprehensive single heritage register in Victoria, covering all types of cultural and natural heritage,
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Watercolours by Robert Hoddle (1794 – 1881)

Robert Hoddle is remembered for his work as a surveyor.  Melbourne’s grid layout is attributed to him, although there is some question about whether
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Hairwork Wreath made by Henrietta de Grandi, 12 years old

Made from human hair, this wreath of artificial flowers was donated by Marie Isobel Buesst, who with her husband Tristan were well-known collectors of
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Deed of Settlement

This Deed for £900 is dated 23 July 1880 and was drawn up by the Crown Solicitor’s Office …for the benefit of the children of Sergeant Kennedy
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Oil Painting ‘The Girl in Red Tights’ Constance Stokes (1906 – 1991)

Daryl and Joan Lindsay’s home Mulberry Hill contains many important examples of Australian Art.  Both were trained artists, although Daryl is remembered
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Ladies’ Worktable Book owned by Georgiana McCrae

Although published in 1850, it is unknown whether Georgiana McCrae was still living at Arthur’s Seat when she acquired this book. Despite the family’s
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Pair of Shirts worn at Labassa in the 1970s

Labassa is an exuberantly ornamented boom-style mansion in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield. Built for the wealthy and privileged in the nineteenth century,
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Fancy Dress ‘An Athenian Lady’ worn by Elizabeth Austin

Mrs. Austin attended the ball as an Athenian Lady and her husband Thomas went as a Freemason. They mixed with a huge crowd gathered to see Prince Alfred, Duke
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Ouija Board Used by Henry Handel Richardson

Henry Handel Richardson (H.H.R.) was the pen name of Ethel Florence Richardson (1870-1946), author of The Getting of Wisdom (1910), The Fortunes of Richard
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Pair of Fancy Dress Costumes, 1900 ca.

  Louis Australia Whyte and his son Louis Melville Whyte had much in common – both were avid sportsmen. Louis senior was a champion golfer and
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Watercolours by Caroline Pounds, 1845 ca.

Very little is known about Caroline Pounds, other than she was the wife Dr. James Baker Pounds, who settled in Ballarat and opened a medical practice.   Her
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Measuring Scales for Medicinal Ingredients at Dow’s Pharmacy

Before mass production, medicines were made by pharmacies – who compounded the pharmaceuticals they supplied to their customers.  Compounding means to
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Pill Maker at Dow’s Pharmacy

Using this machine was a  ‘modern’ method of making pills, when for centuries pills were rolled by hand.  Before mass production, pills were made
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Typewriter used by Joan Lindsay

Picnic at Hanging Rock continues to mystify the public. The haunting image of the disappearing schoolgirls in the bush intrigues us. Joan Lindsay would sit on
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The Caroline Armytage, nee Tuckwell, Cookbook. 1845 ca.

The cookbook’s age, condition, and Caroline’s penmanship, make the recipes in this manuscript difficult to transcribe. Caroline collected the
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Hand Embroidered Hearth Rug made by Elizabeth Austin

This large embroidery, in Berlin wool work on a loose-weave canvas panel, features a central cartouche of English flowers including lily-of-the-valley, roses,
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Porcelain Chandelier made by Minton

This turquoise, white, and gilt elaborate porcelain chandelier is surmounted with eight branches and exuberantly ornamented with floral decoration, which is
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Wallpaper Fragment – Kinkarakawagami

When Sir Frederick Sargood established a successful political career and remarried, he decided to renovate his home Rippon Lea. Completed in 1890 ca., the
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Clara or Charlotte Sargood’s Archery Set

This archery equipment belonged to either Clara or Charlotte Sargood. They grew up at Rippon Lea.  Their father Frederick Sargood was a successful merchant,
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Curtain and Pelmet Set 1925 c. Maker: Fortuny (1919 – now)

Interior decorator, Mrs. Dolly Guy Smith, of the firm Myer & Rocke, refurbished Mrs. Louisa Jones home in the late 1930s.  When Mrs. Jones inherited
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Windows – Abercrombie House

After much planning and negotiation with landowners, both in South and North Melbourne, Abercrombie house was dramatically relocated from 59 Arden Street on
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Posy Holder Polly Woodside

This posy holder was made for the launching of barque POLLY WOODSIDE on 7th November 1885. It was held by Mrs. Marian “Polly” Woodside, wife of the
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Revolver

This navy colt revolver was used in the shootout at Glenrowan in 1880 and a bullet fired from the gun shot Ned Kelly. It belonged to Sergeant Steele, one of
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Death Mask Edward (Ned) Kelly (1854 – 1880)

Convicted at Melbourne on 29 October 1880 for murder, Ned Kelly was a well-known bushranger who captured the public’s imagination. His death mask was
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Large Black Pig Nehill Brother’s Farm

The Large Black Pig is now an endangered domestic farm animal.  The black pigment of it’s skin made it an ideal animal to forage out of doors, without
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Painting Artist Ian Fairweather (1891 – 1974) Title: Children with Buffalo

Daryl and Joan Lindsay were members of two artistic dynasties – the Lindsay and Boyd families.  Their home Mulberry Hill was a place to work creatively,
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Watercolour Ballet Russes Study of a Female Dancer by Daryl Lindsay

Study of a Female Dancer (1938 – 40) Sono Osato (1919 – ) Pen and ink wash on paper Sono Osato toured Australia with de Basil’s company on the
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Silent Movie Stills featuring Claire Adams

Before marrying Scobie MacKinnon, Claire Adams had a stellar movie career in Hollywood. She assembled an archive of her film appearances. Many of the images in
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Lalique Glassware

Claire Adams was a collector of moderné glass of the 1920s and 30s. Designed by Rene Lalique and manufactured by his company, Claire’s collection includes
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Home Movies – Mooramong

These charming home movies were taken by Claire and Scobie MacKinnon and feature their honeymoon and life at Mooramong. Claire MacKinnon nee Adams was a famous
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Map Home Property as Surveyed by George Gordon McCrae (1833–1927)

The McCrae family lived on the Mornington Peninsula for 7 years. Andrew McCrae attempted to eke out a living on their 20,500 acre run.  His attempt was
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Watercolour by George Gordon McCrae

This website includes images and names of deceased people that may distress Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples. One of a series of watercolours
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Watercolour by Georgiana McCrae – The Garden at Arthur’s Seat

An open forest of casuarinas, acacias, banksias and gum welcomed the McCrae family when they arrived at Arthur’s Seat.  Georgiana McCrae and her
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Portrait of “Eliza” by Georgiana Huntly McCrae

This website includes images and names of deceased people that may distress Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples. Georgiana McCrae painted this
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The Pulpit, Cape Schanck, by C J La Trobe

Painted in 1848, this watercolour depicts The Pulpit at Cape Schanck. Superintendent and Lieutenant Governor Charles Joseph La Trobe was an avid sketcher and
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C. J. La Trobe’s Apothecary Box

This medicine box was owned by Superintendent, and later Lieutenant Governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe. The box was made by Savory & Moore, Chemists to the
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Mouse trap Gulf Station

An unusual object, this mouse trap was a necessity on a farm like Gulf Station. The mouse enters the trap through the arched entrance; a moving floor closes a
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Federal Standard Printing Press

The Federal Standard Printing Works is one of the few substantially intact provincial newspaper printers remaining from the gold mining era. When gold was
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Soft Fruit Tree Fern Endeavour Fern Gully

Endeavour Fern Gully is one of the few surviving forested areas on the Mornington Peninsula.  Prior to European settlement the landscape had many similar fern
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Hand-painted Fan

The Como collection contains a set of hand-made fans – made from either crepe paper and feathers or hand-painted, such as this example featuring a
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Waggonette

This waggonette was drawn by two horses to carry a heavy load.  The wagon bears the maker’s plate of Melbourne coach-builders Stevenson and Elliott, who
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Horse-Drawn Hearse

In the early decades of the 20th century, W.S. Edwards was listed as an undertaker, coach-builder and owner of livery stables on Ford Street in Beechworth. 
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Hand Vice

This hand vice has been identified by members of the Hand Tool Preservation Society as being one of the most important tools in the collection bequested by
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Clockmaker’s Lathe

An important example of a nineteenth century hand tool, this horological lathe was used to turn metal when crafting the inside workings of a clock.   This
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Portrait – In Memoriam Ethel Armytage

The Caroline and Charles Armytage lost one child during their married life together at Como. Ethel Maude Armytage, 1856-1872  died at the age of seven from
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Spectacles worn during Black Thursday February 6 1851

  “We have received Port Phillip papers to the 11th February. The whole province had suffered from fearfully destructive bush fires, which raged worst
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Fabienne Archive A Collection of Design Illustrations & Embroidery Samples

Nellie embroidered exquisite beaded patterns for Dior as cows were herded past her front door   Nellie van Rysoort was trained in Europe to produce
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Wax Sculpture “New Hollander & Kangaroo”

Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe was born at St Helena, 1810, where the Balcombe family lived and befriended the island’s most famous resident Napoleon
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Georgiana McCrae’s Sewing Box

In June 2015, a beautiful sewing box once owned by Georgiana McCrae of McCrae Homestead, was generously donated to the National Trust by Georgiana’s great,
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La Trobe’s Cottage

The original home of Victoria's first Lt. Governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe from 1839 to 1854.
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Mooramong

Hollywood comes to the homestead at this 1860s country house revamped for an Australian millionaire and his movie star wife.
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Mulberry Hill

Home of Daryl Lindsay who founded the National Gallery of Victoria and Joan Lindsay author of Picnic at Hanging Rock.
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Charles Joseph La Trobe – Water colours and sketches

A man of a thousand occupations! Botanist, geologist, hunter of beetles and butterflies, musical composer, sketcher of no mean pretensions; in short a complete
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Costume Collection

A surprising and unexpected costume collection comprising locally made and worn fashion.
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Author Joan Lindsay and Picnic at Hanging Rock

Joan Lindsay. The National Trust's custodianship of her home Mullbery Hill, contains many objects related to the writing, publishing and filming of the famous
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Georgiana McCrae – Artist

Watercolours & sletches of Melbourne 1841-1845, Portraits, watercolours and sketches of Scotland.
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Mooramong Claire Adams Mackinnon

Claire Adams was a star during Hollywood's silent screen era. She left that world behind her when she married Donald 'Scobie' Mackinnon and came to live in
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