Day dress worn by Esther Hovell


Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum
Sydney, Australia

Day dress, women's, cotton / satin, worn by Esther Hovell (nee Arndell), wife of William Hovell, maker unknown, [Australia], c. 1835

Day dress, woven pale yellow and blue check, painted with fine floral design in deep red green and pink. Shallow round neckline with piped edge. Fitted bodice cut with a cf seam and shaped with dart each side. Bodice lined with cream cotton, breasts padded with layers of cream gauze protected with a layer of cream fabric. Front of bodice decorated with V shaped bands of cream silk. Long sleeves with ruffles and paunches, tight at wrist, fastened with two metal hoops and tweed loops. Bodice and sleeve seams piped with cream silk. Ankle length bell shaped skirt made separately and sewn to bodice at waist. Shirt made in five pieces loosely gathered into waistband at front and heavily gathered at back. Fully lined with [Glazed] white cotton.

Centre back vent 50 cm long long down bodice starting at neck. A piece of cream satin fabric has been added at a later date to widen dress. Fastened with seven metal hooks and fabric loops, to waist. The back of skirt has also been altered to by loosening some of the pleats to make waistline wider. Dress trimmed with bows at shoulders and centre back waist.


  • Title: Day dress worn by Esther Hovell
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1835
  • Location: Australia, Oceania
  • Physical Dimensions: 1280mm (d)
  • See MAAS website: See MAAS Collection record

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