Suffragette Sympathiser's Dress

It has to be does'nt it? Such strange colours for an "ordinary" dress.


of leaf green cotton with high neck in cream chemical lace insert above a mauve applied panel, embroidered with a black bow, six spiders web buttons and mauve flat piping, front side opening with poppers, a faux waist band, the length of the sleeves gathered in to similar piping , the cuff piped and with very narrow lace frill, the back similar, top shoulder to hem, top lined with cream cotton fastened at the side with hooks and eyes,   57 in; 1.45 m


There is a slight mark to the front mauve panel. There is also a white and dark mark to the centre front, below the waist. Ask for photos.


The collector from whom I purchased the dress told me that it belonged to my grandmother, Nellie Marguerite Hughes, always called Daisy, was born in 1869, the youngest of a large family, living in the Midlands making their small fortune from a series of coal mines in the Black Country area.  As a late child, with a mother in her forties, Daisy was spoiled, bedecked with jewellery and dress-maker clothes.     At age of 16 she was sent to live for a year with a German family in Suchteln near Cologne.  The unmarried daughter of the family acted as governess, and Daisy was taught to speak and read fluent German, do ornamental needlework and play the piano.    I have ten years of her diary, 1884 to 1895 and the year in Germany is quite hilarious.
After a broken engagement she married my Grandfather, Herbert Stonehouse, from County Durham, also in the mining industry, in 1895.  My father was born in 1896.   They lived first of all in Bewdley, Worcestershire and in 1912 built a large house in Kidderminster.  Daisy was a free-spirit, but was always conscious of her social position.  My grandfather was a Mason, which she did not like, but tolerated.  So it is possible that she may well have supported the suffragette movement,  but not openly.  

I never knew my grandfather as he died in 1926.   My grandmother died in 1959, not quite 90 and I inherited her vast collection of family clothing, embroidery, lace and a great number of ornaments etc.  This was because I had studied History Fashion at Art School and my Aunt was only too glad to be rid of things.  So this was the basis of my collection.



Email Print Facebook Twitter

Email a friend