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Small Calendar Box #1999-1237Furniture  ·  Ministerial Party Room, North Wing, Main Floor

Maple calendar box with hinged lid with moulded edges and metal card holder; three windows on front for day, date and month; adjacent three compartment stationery holder on left side, with glass partitions and stepped end panel.


This small calender box was designed in 1926 by the Architects Department of the Federal Capital Commission, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for Provisional Parliament House. This piece was built by one of the six firms (Myer Emporium Pty Ltd, Melbourne; Anthony Hordern and Sons, Sydney; A Pengelly and Co, Adelaide; W H Rocke and Co, Melbourne; Beard Watson & Co Ltd, Sydney; Bebarfalds Ltd, Sydney) that were contracted to construct Murdoch’s designs. It is made of Queensland maple.

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Statement of values

This piece is significant as the only known calendar of this design to have survived.

This small calender box 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 House, 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.

  • Small Calendar BoxSmall Calendar Box — Image from the Old Parliament House Collection
  • Small Calendar Box (plans) - Old Parliament House CollectionSmall Calendar Box (plans) - Old Parliament House Collection


Width 745mm
Height 270mm
Depth 195mm
Medium Queensland maple; timber; glass; metal
Creator’s name John Smith Murdoch
Date created Circa 1927