Queensland Chapter - First 'Show and Tell' Meeting

23 Apr 2019 9:35 AM | Anonymous

Queensland Chapter of the Australiana Society

First ‘show and tell’ Meeting, 27th March 2019

Attendance: 9 people attended the meeting

Item 1 A transfer printed ‘steak and kidney pie’ dish with illustrations front and back.

An illustration of the hotel is on the rear.

Although the owner of this item has an historical connection with the hotel, the dish came to them by a roundabout route. It was found buried at another site in Brisbane by a person digging a hole in the ground. That person retrieved the dish whole, and presented it to the present owner’s father, who was the licensee of the hotel at that time. Approximately 150 mm diameter.

Item 2 An oil on canvas still life painting Peaches, Melon and Grapes by William Frances Emery, 1869.

 Approximately 400 mm wide.  Title to rear of stretcher.

Australiana connection: William Frances Emery is believed to be the painter who produced, but did not sign, the famous early painting of Ipswich from Limestone Hill. There are historical records that Emery produced oil paintings for numerous early farmsteads and stations in Queensland, but none of those paintings have been found.

Item 3 Cheese Coaster.

Approximately 450 mm wide.

Described by the owner as “This is an Australian Cedar cheese coaster probably dating from about 1840. I haven’t seen another. I bought it at an antique fair in 2018. It was in poor condition and had lost its original finish. The dealer told me she sourced it from a Melbourne auction (Philips) some decades ago.” The owner also noted that although further provenance information was promised by the dealer that never eventuated.

Item 4 An Australian sterling silver four-sconce epergne made in Brisbane by FJ Mole. 


The eperne.


Maker's stamp to underneath base.

This quite substantial item (approx. 250 mm tall) has a weighted base. It is inscribed “To Mr & Mrs Fisher, from Belmont Friends, 30/10/26 [1926]. Mr Mole’s establishment was on Stanley St, East Brisbane up until at least the 1970s.

Item 5 Sterling silver christening mug made by Hilliard & Thomason, Birmingham hallmarked 1870-1, 85mm high, 61g.


Engraved presentation reads: PHF Smith/ from his father/ Gympie/ Augst 23rd 1873.

Information from the Courier newspaper etc. reveals that Percival Henry Foord Smith was born at Coorooey [sic] Cottage Gympie on 23 Aug 1873. His father was Henry Halliday Smith, a newsagent and stationer in Gympie, and his mother was Laura Ann (nee Courport) who were married at St Andrews church Lutwyche, Brisbane 16 Nov 1872.

Item 6 A holed leather "tag" 125mm by 37mm impressed on the left-hand side: TO/ DALGETY/& CO. LTD./ BRISBANE.

On the right-hand side is the word BRAND. The reverse is plain leather.

The purpose of the item is unclear but appears to be designed to attach to something via a string or leather thong.

The buyer was told by the seller that the tag was to be used in despatching wool. The buyer believes may be unlikely, as sheep are not usually branded, so where would the brand be obtained from to mark the tag?

Any assistance would be appreciated in clarifying the use of these tags. Please respond to the email address below if you have suggestions and they will be passed on to the owner of the item.

One response to this query to date: Sheep may not be branded but wool bales can be, either with the type of wool or the owner.

Item 7 Queensland Railway Union (North Brisbane Branch) 8 (hours of work) ribbon made of cloth and bullion wire, 13cm by 5 cm. Safety pin suspender.


Probably worn by union supporters/officials at a Brisbane 8 Hours Day parade. It may date to the c.1920's. The State Library of Queensland has an interest blog on these parades complete with photos of the floats and participants.

Item 8 French bronze dish and letter opener with eucalypt decoration.


Dish is 225mm long.

Le Royer -- Coupe Papier & Vide Poche ‘Eucalyptus’. Matching pair of Art Nouveau bronze letter opner and pen tray, each modelled with gum leaves and gum nuts, circa 1900.

Item 9 Bronze Medal, Sydney International Exhibition 1879.

Inscribed “P & S EVANS, FIRST AWARD”.

The International Exhibition was housed in a purpose-built building on Macquarie St. The building burned down in 1882 and the grounds now form part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. This medal has a good patina and is 75 mm diameter. Research into the reason for the award is continuing.

David Bedford and Jennifer Stuerzl

Convenors, Australiana Queensland


Acknowledgement: This initial report has been modelled on those produced for many years by the SA Australiana Study Group, but is less detailed at this stage.