Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery
Direct Number: 01304 216883
Mobile: 07740 560970
Dover Museum now holds the collection from the Deal Costume and Accessories Museum or Salter Collection (opened 1984, closed 1998), in addition to its own smaller costume collection.
The Deal Collection comprises over 500 items and spans approximately two centuries, ranging from the beginning of the nineteenth century (Regency period) to the post-war period of the 1950’s, 60’s and 1970’s. Represented is also the Victorian period of the crinoline dress, the late nineteenth century period of the bustle dress, the Edwardian period of the late nineteenth century to the First World War, the 1920’s period of the ‘flapper’, the pre-war 1930’s period and wartime fashions of the 1940’s.
The costume includes clothes for men, women, children and babies, with representative examples of underwear, accessories such as shoes, hats, gloves, umbrellas and parasols, fans and a small selection of toys. There are also examples of uniforms, wedding dresses, bathing costumes, decorative waistcoats and shawls. Many of the garments are ornately decorated and made from a representative range of fabrics.
It is apparent from indexes accompanying the collection, that many objects do have local provenance from Deal families specifically, and the those from the wider Dover District, thus reflecting life in the area over the last two centuries. It is regularly used by local institutions and groups such as the Kent Costume Trust and Deal Maritime and Local History Museum.
Documentation and preventive conservation work is currently being undertaken at Dover Museum to understand the collection more fully, exploring individual piece’s local significance and cross referencing with their initial (incomplete) index. The aim of which is to prioritise future remedial conservation, and enable members of the public digital access to images and records relating to the costume, as well as highlighting potential items for display.