Proceedings of the AICCM TSIG Symposium, Sydney, Australia 19 to 22 May, 2016
In 2007 during the re-housing of the Queensland Museum’s costume and textile collection, a strange silk brocade costume was discovered hanging in an old wooden cupboard at the back of the Social History Store. On further examination the costume was identified as an eighteenth century ‘Robe a la Francaise’, circa 1770 – 1775, a garment which initially seemed totally out of context as the state of Queensland was not established until 1859. The original records indicated that the dress had arrived in Brisbane in 1961 and was donated together with two embroidered waistcoats in 1964. The dress originated in Scotland and eventually found its way to Miss Jenny Eggett of Kent.
Following her death part of her estate which included the dress was shipped to a branch of the family in Brisbane. The donor was a distant relative of the First Major of Brisbane, William Jolly. As a result of the enormous interest generated by this dress, a conservation fund was established which enabled the purchase of an eighteenth-century Kyoto mannequin and 190 hours of conservation work. This paper will discuss the conservation work carried out.