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Wedding dress and veil belonging to Italian migrant, Lina Cesarin.

Date: c 1956
Overall: 1450 x 360 mm, 0.65 kg
Medium: Fabric
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lina Cesarin
Object Name: Wedding outfit
Object No: V00004697

User Terms

    This wedding dress, veil and gloves belonged to Italian migrant Lina Cesarin, who came to Australia to marry her fiancé Rizzieri Cesarin in 1956. The dress is made of ivory satin with a woven pattern. These treasured items provide an insight into the time when 'bride ships' were greeted at Australian wharves by crowds of eager husbands and fiancés desperate to be reunited with loved ones.

    SignificanceThis wedding outfit reflects the experience of migrants travelling to Australia in the post-war era of the 20th century. It highlights the movement of women overseas for the purpose of marriage during 1950s and 1960s.
    HistoryFollowing World War II the movement of Italian migrants to Australia substantially increased. Many immigrants came from small Italian towns and moved for work opportunities and a better life. Often they had plans to return to Italy once they had achieved financial success. While some did return many others stayed and made Australia their permanent home.

    When Lina Cesarin farewelled her fiancé Rizzieri in 1951, he promised to send for her in five years time. He had migrated to Australia on SS SURRIENTO to find work and had financed the voyage himself without assistance from government migration programs. Rizzieri arrived in Sydney on 18 June 1951 and worked in Sydney for a couple of months before moving to Cooma, where he helped establish base camps for workers on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Lina migrated from Italy on SS NEPTUNIA in 1956 and they married two days after her arrival. This was not an uncommon practice for many young Italian women who moved to Australia or America in search of husbands or following fiancées.

    The NEPTUNIA was recommissioned and rebuilt as a passenger ship after being used for military service in World War II. The ship transported many future brides to Australia during the 1950s and 1960s, a peak period in Italian immigration. Often the brides had not met their future husbands until they arrived in Australia.

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