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Library Table #1999-1236Parliamentary Library, North Wing, Main Floor

Large maple library table with plain top on moulded cornice, resting on carved block feet.

History

This library table was designed in the 1920s 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). It is made of maple and was located in the Parliamentary Library.

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Statement of values

This library table is a significant item of furniture through its association with the Parliamentary Library. The design of the building and its layout, its curtilage and its interior rooms all demonstrate the customs and functions of the Commonwealth Parliament. This table was used in the Parliamentary Library which, as demonstrated by its position within the building (centrally located behind King’s Hall and between the Chambers), held an important function for Parliament.

This library 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 building is a primary example of the Inter War Stripped Classical style of architecture prominent in Canberra’s government architecture of the 1920s to 1940s. The characteristic expression of the building’s style is due to the design work of the Commonwealth’s first government architect, John Smith Murdoch. 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. This furniture is significant as it has remained within the building for which it was designed.

Details

Width 2440mm
Height 755mm
Depth 1210mm
Medium Maple; timber
Creator’s name Federal Capital Commission Architects Department
Date created Circa 1920s