Christening Dress
West Highland Museum

This Christening dress was made in Scotland and originally belonged to Lady Appin, the last of the Stewarts of Appin, whose mother had the dress made for her as a baby. Christening gowns were of sentimental value and often kept within a family. When Lady Appin was left alone after her husband was killed in a duel, she lived with the MacColl family, who had worked on the Stewart estate. Lady Appin’s daughter, Ann Stewart, became good friends with Mary Morey MacColl.

In 2021, Jan Manos, a museum professional from the United States, got in touch with the West Highland Museum to donate the beautiful Christening dress. It had been given to her great, great, great grandmother, Mary Morey MacColl, by Ann Stewart, when Mary’s daughter Anna was pregnant.

The detailed embroidery on the dress was hand-made in India. This style of Christening dress was first seen in Scotland in the very early 1800s. This special dress survived political uprisings, evictions, and migration to Canada. 

Scottish immigration to Canada became increasingly common in the nineteenth century. Many Highlanders emigrated for a range of reasons, often seeking a better life abroad, as was the case for Angus Robertson, the owner of the christening dress in 1909, who chose to travel to Canada in search of economic opportunity.

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Date: 1800s
Materials : Cotton
Size : 60cm

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