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Stool #2000-1487

Bar stool with circular padded seat upholstered in burgundy vinyl; tubular metal frame with square set legs flaring at the foot rail.


This bar stool was purchased during the refurbishments to the dining and recreation block in the 1940s and has been used in a variety of capacities throughout the building.

During the 1940s substantial improvements and additions were made to the facilities for parliamentarians and press representatives in the dining and recreational block at the rear of the original building. In 1947 the original billiards room was converted into a dining area, while in 1948-49 the Member’s bar was enlarged, and additions included a dining room for staff and press, a private dining room and servery, and a new billiards room.

During the 1950s parliamentarians, officers and staff were provided with three bars: the Member’s bar, limited to Members and Senators; the dining room bar, available for drinks during meals to Members and their guests, although no drinks were served at the bar itself; and the non-Member’s bar, provided for officers of the departmental staff, Members’ and Ministers’ staff, and press representatives.

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This stool is significant because of its association with the Member’s Dining Room. The dining and recreation facilities were an important part of the life of the building from 1927 to 1988. They reflect the intention to provide some measure of comfort for the building’s occupants, in compensation for long sitting hours and the long periods people would spend away from their homes. The facilities also played an important national role in hosting Royal visits, official State receptions and formal dinners for important guests.

This stool is significant as a component of the Heritage Collection, which comprises those pieces of furniture which were used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1924 and 1988. The collection has associations with the process of government, the ceremonial, administrative, promotional and recreational functions conducted within the building, and with the individuals who governed Australia between 1927 and 1988. The Old Parliament House building has a richness of internal fabric and collections that convey the way in which parliamentary functions were conducted, the everyday use of the building, and the hierarchical nature of parliamentary staffing practices.


Width 337mm
Height 770mm
Depth 335mm
Medium Metal; vinyl
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created 1940s