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National Museum of Australia

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Barrister's grey horsehair wig worn by Sir George Houstoun Reid

1987.0082.0001

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Barrister's grey horsehair wig worn by Sir George Houstoun Reid

Object information

Description

The National Museum of Australia's collection holds two of Reid's barrister's wigs: one he wore when first admitted to the bar and one he wore in the 1890s and 1900s. Reid's son Clive recalled that his father kept both wigs in the first wig's tin, one on top of the other, because he believed that 'without all the hard work of his early years as a barrister he would never have reached the top position in Australia'. Reid's law practice provided him with the income to support his unpaid political roles.

Physical description

A Barrister's grey horsehair wig. The style of the wig is straight across the forehead and square over the ears. The horsehair fibres are looped at the front and over the crown. There are three rows of curls over the ears and around the back, and there are also additional curls at the back and two looped tresses or 'queues'. The horsehair is supported on a framework of thin silk ribbon and thread, the interior showing a criss-cross network over the crown with ribbon reinforcement around the edges. Three bars of boning on either side of the wig and four short vertical bars at the back provide additional strengthening. The remains of a manufacturers fabric label and a handwritten paper label are sewn into the back.

Object information

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