Bodice, Purple; Unknown maker; 1870-1873; WY.2000.26


Bodice, Purple

About this object

This tailored bodice was part of the wedding dress of Elizabeth Isabella Bews (nee Clouston). Bessie, also known as Isabella, was born in Scotland in 1849, where she married Sam Bews of Orkney on 7 August 1873.

Sam, eight years Bessie's senior, emigrated to New Zealand in 1875 and Bessie followed three years later on board the 'Canterbury' arriving in Port Chalmers in 1878. Bessie and Sam went on to have eleven children, ten of whom survived into adulthood. The family purchased freehold land at Mokoreta in 1882 and their descendants remain in the area.

Although part of a wedding dress, which today would usually be packed away after the special day, the obvious signs of wear and tear suggest it was also worn well after Bessie's wedding day.


Unknown maker

Maker Role


Date Made




Place Made


Medium and Materials

organic, animal, animal product, processed materials, silk
organic, vegetal, processed materials, cotton
inorganic, processed materials, metal

Inscription and Marks

Handwritten in black ink at collar: WY 2000 26


h 550 mm x w 520 mm x d 100 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Clothing and Accessories

Subject and Association Keywords

People and Families (including births, weddings, deaths)

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

This object is from

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