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Settee #1999-0824Ministerial Party Room, North Wing, Main Floor

Chesterfield-style settee with padded arms and back and sprung seat upholstered in green leather; carved pilasters with shaped blocks resting on block feet.


This settee was designed in 1926 by the Federal Capital Commission Architects Department, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for Provisional Parliament House. This sette 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 upholstered in green leather for the House of Representatives.

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Statement of values

This settee 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.

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Width 2115mm
Height 780mm
Depth 960mm
Medium Maple; leather; timber; textile
Creator’s name Federal Capital Commission Architects Department
Date created 1926