Shop window, glass/wood/steel, made by Wunderlich Ltd, used at Anthony Hordern and Sons New Palace Emporium, Australia, 1914-1927
By the end of the 19th century Sydney was a prosperous commercial port city with several major department stores. In contrast to small specialised retailers, these establishments offered customers a wide range of goods in lavish surroundings. Buildings such as the multi-storey Farmers and Company store became city landmarks and places of exciting social interaction.
When it opened in 1881, Hordern Brothers Palace Emporium store in Haymarket was one of the largest and possibly the most diverse of Sydney's department stores. Adopting the title Universal Provider, Hordern Brothers sold everything from needles to anchors. They advertised their goods in a comprehensive catalogue and, as a result, their merchandise was ordered by people across the colony.
The first Palace Emporium was destroyed by fire in 1901. The firm responded by building an even larger and grander establishment, a short distance from the original store. This new building, called Anthony Hordern and Sons New Palace Emporium occupied an entire city block, bounded by George, Goulburn, Pitt and Liverpool Streets. Its decorative fittings and window displays tempted customers with what 'Australia' magazine described in 1907 as a 'shimmering seductiveness'.
This bowed wood framed window was made for the Goulburn Street frontage of the new store sometime between 1914 and 1927. It was made by Wunderlich Limited, perhaps the most important manufacturer of domestic and commercial architectural elements and fittings in Australia in the first half of the 20th century. Wunderlich is best known for its decorative ceramic, glass and metal components. This window is an outstanding example both of the company's diverse production and early department store window design.
This window was salvaged around 1980 when the ground floor of the Palace Emporium was converted to a car park. The building itself was demolished in the late 1980s.
Made for the Goulburn Street frontage of Anthony Hordern's Palace Emporium as part of the most important shopfront contract completed by Wunderlich's prior to 1927. It was removed from the building by the donor when Hordern's ground floor was converted to a car park c1980.