Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in a mansion, originally named Illapa, at 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937), his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948) and their children. George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.


This garment is part of a collection of women’s clothing, owned and worn by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge) - born in Clare, South Australia 1867, died Kew 1948 - and also by her daughter. The garments date from the 1880s to the 1930s. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife and daughter of a mine manager, the collection includes representative examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances, and at social and civic events. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1930s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by a granddaughter of Edith Weir in 2017.

Physical description

Elegant knee-length black silk dress with short sleeves with black silk crepe de chine over-layer. Abstract double fern pattern in diamentes on skirt