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Side Table #1999-1282Anteroom, President of the Senate’s Suite, North Wing, Main Floor

Black bean side table with a cross banded top over two short drawers, on square section legs.

History

This side table was not designed for the Provisional Parliament House in the 1920s, but was manufactured at a later date. It has been used in a variety of capacities around the building.

The ceremonial duties of the President of the Senate include participation in the opening of Parliament and visits by foreign Heads of State and receiving delegations visiting Australia from other nations, and other distinguished visitors to the Senate. Hospitality for these events is one aspect of the responsibilities of the President’s office. Furniture, such as this side table, was supplied to support these duties.

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Statement of values

This side table is significant in representing a change of style in furnishing the President of the Senate’s Suite: rather than the bespoke furniture designed by the architect to fit out the building in the 1920s, the furniture supplied for new suites such as this and that of the Senate President’s tended to be standard factory-produced executive office furniture. Integrity with the building was achieved by the use of timber as used throughout the building. The combination of this plain, utilitarian and unornamented furniture with the richly textured walls of the suite made a strong but minimalist style statement.

This side table 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.

Details

Width 1215mm
Height 910mm
Depth 615mm
Medium Black bean; timber
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created Unknown