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Child's white cotton cape

Date: 1890 - 1901
Overall: 920 x 520 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Cape
Object No: 00018346

User Terms

    Used in a variety of ways, the simple cut and versatility of the cape saw it become an enduring fashion accessory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Decorated with embellishments ranging from simple ribbon trims to heavy layers of lace and gauze, capes were worn as collars by both women and children.

    This child's cape is semi-circular in shape, and constructed with two tiers of a heavy ribbed white cotton fabric sewn together at the neckline. Both layers of the cape are trimmed with bands of highly decorative broderie anglaise.
    SignificanceThis cape is a rare surviving example of a child's garment dating from the late Victorian or Edwardian period.
    HistoryBy the early 1900s a thriving tourist industry had become well established around the seaside towns of Australia. The beach had become a place for rest and recreation. Men, women and children took up the fashionable pursuit of promenading along the seashore.

    Wearing the 'uniform' of a white sundress, decorated and accessorised with hats, capes and pinafores, usually white, to protect precious clothes and complexions from the harsh Australian climate, girls enjoyed playing beside the sea.

    White, cream, or ivory dresses were seen as a symbol of wealth during the Edwardian era. Wearing white or cream-coloured clothing meant you either had a maid at home or you could afford to pay another to wash your clothes.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Child's white cotton cape

    Primary title: CHILD'S CAPE

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