Chess Table #2001-1430
Maple chess table; top with cut corners and chess board made out of red cedar and silky oak inset into centre, opposing drawers with central black plastic knob on each; on four square section tapering legs.
This chess table was designed in 1926 by the Federal Capital Commission Architects Department, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for Provisional Parliament House. This table was manufactured by one of the six firms that were contracted to construct Murdoch’s designs (Myer Emporium Pty Ltd, Anthony Hordern and Sons, A Pengelly and Co, W H Rocke and Co, Beard Watson & Co, and Bebarfalds Ltd).
This chess table is one example of the recreational furniture and facilities provided to parliamentarians working in Provisional Parliament House. Consideration was given to the displacement of parliamentarians from their homes and the long hours they spent at the building. Chess, card, billiard and snooker tables are some examples of the furniture provided for recreation. Parliamentarians and press representatives also had access to dining rooms, bars and games rooms at the Provisional Parliament House.