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4

Beret referred to by its wearer Sir Hubert Opperman as a 'Beret Basque'

1996.0048.0001

Beret referred to by its wearer Sir Hubert Opperman as a 'Beret Basque'

Object information

Description

The beret dates from the visit to France by the Australian team of Hubert Opperman, Harry Watson, Percy Osborne and Em Bainbridge to contest the 1928 Tour de France. According to correspondence from Sir Hubert, this beret was worn in France in 1928 and 1931 for racing and training. According to Sir Hubert, "A beret fits my topical time when Napoleon with the effusion of time had lost terror for the adults and babies were threatened by 'handing them over to Boney".

Physical description

A dark blue beret with a brown leather band on the inner edge. The beret is very worn and has no lining, maker's mark or size.

Statement of significance

The Sir Hubert Opperman Collection no 1 consists of two worn blue berets used by and belonging to Sir Hubert Opperman, cyclist and diplomat. Beret no 1 is dark blue with a brown leather band on the inner edge, very worn, with no lining, maker's name or size. Beret no 2 is dark blue with a brown band, white and red trim with a small white bow. The material is alcantara and pure wool, size 55/912
Sir Hubert Opperman, or 'Oppy' has he was affectionately known, became a household name in the 1920s and 1930s as a result of his cycling achievements. He set 101 state, national and world records and was the public face of Malvern Star Bicycle Company. From 1949 to1972, Opperman pursued a career in politics, holding several portfolios for the Liberal party, and became Australia's first High Commissioner to Malta in 1966. He was knighted in1968 and retired from politics in 1972. Sir Hubert Opperman died in 1996 at the aged of 92.

Object information

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