Black beaded and silk satin dress worn by Mrs Sabina Peipers to the Opening of the first Federal Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia at the Royal Exhibition Building, 9 May 1901. Mrs Peipers attended the opening with her father, the Imperial German Consul William Alexander Brahe. They were seated in the east nave of the building, a couple of rows from the dais upon which the royal party sat.

Brahe is identified in both the Charles Nuttall and Tom Roberts painting of the occasion. Significantly, Nuttall did not depict Mrs Peipers, but instead depicted himself in the seat next to her father, position no. 247, and a Mrs Sheppard on the other side of Brahe. Tom Roberts depicted Brahe at position no. 70; on either side of him were Mr Arthur Ware, Mayor of Adelaide and Mr T. Eitlake (Con.Gen. for Japan).

This dress, donated to the Museum by descendants of Mrs Peipers, was altered around 1910-1914 to reflect the new slimline fashions of the day.

Physical Description

Full length beaded black net and silk satin woman's dress with three-quarter length sleeves, V neckline and centre back opening fastening with metal hooks, and fishtail train. The dress is hand and machine stitched with cotton yarns. It has a base garment of black silk satin which is lined with black wool crepe. A transparent outer garment of black silk net rests over the silk satin. This outer layer is heavily embroidered with green and grey floss silk, gold coloured metal threads in a pattern of leaves and flowers, and metallic looking glass beads. The neckline is trimmed with black silk velvet ribbons.

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