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Wedding Gown
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Title: Wedding Gown
Identifier: 979.6.957
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1881
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic house

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Description: A "princess style" wedding gown made of cream coloured wool. The gown has silk ruching down the front, at the top of the sleeves, and around the edge of hem. There is a feather and lace trim at ends of sleeves. The back of the gown has a train. The gown is front opening with hook and eye closures. The back length is 215 cm; the chest 90 cm; and the sleeve length 54 cm.

Mary Horatia Magrath married Arthur Harris of Benares on September 29th, 1881. She was the granddaughter of Reverend James Magrath, who was the first rector of St. Peterís Anglican Church in Erindale. Both the Magraths and Harrises were members of the St. Peterís Anglican Church and the families knew each other well. It was at church that Mary and Arthur Harris first met and later married. Mary and Arthur had three children, Annie, Naomi, and Margaret. Oral tradition suggests that Mary never fully recovered from the sad loss of her third child shortly after her birth and she suffered hearing impairment soon after. Mary and Arthur were married for 51 years. Maryís dress was worn with a bonnet that was trimmed with leather and silk orange blossoms. Some patterns in the collection from this time suggest it may have been made by Mary or was perhaps ordered from a dress maker in Toronto. This cut of dress is known as "Princess Style" and would have been worn with both a bustle and hooped underskirt.
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