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Knife #2001-0052Members’ Dining Room, Main Floor

Stainless steel knife with a grooved handle, even rounded blade and ‘CPRR’ (Commonwealth Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms) engraved on it.


This knife was used in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House. It was manufactured by Thurston & Sons in Stainless Steel.

Crisp white tablecloths and sparkling silver cutlery welcomed members and senators to their party’s particular tables in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. Unlike in most Australian homes, waiters, and later waitresses, provided silver service. They served the politicians’ food from elegant silver platters directly onto their plates at the table.

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Statement of values

This knife 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 knife is significant as a component of the Heritage Collection, which comprises those objects 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, which include the purpose designed furniture and furnishings, 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 22mm
Height 250mm
Depth 13mm
Medium Stainless steel
Creator’s name Thurston & Sons
Date created Unknown