The image above shows a few of the chairs in storage at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre: the museum’s off site storage and collection care facility at Castle Hill. The collection stores are generally not open to the public but behind-the-scenes tours and open days are programmed throughout the year. Please be seated was one such tour conducted for Sydney Design 2013.
Thumbscrew, torture device, date unknown, Powerhouse Museum
The image above is of a thumbscrew which I came across here in the Museum’s collection while looking for something far more innocuous – a wooden mallet made from a girder of the old Sydney Stock Exchange.
Portrait of Sir Henry Parkes, Sydney, Australia, 1880-1896, Powerhouse Museum, 85/1286-481
Sir Henry Parkes was one of Australia’s more significant politicians and journalists and the Museum’s collection of objects relating to him is a varied one. It includes objects representative of his years as a manufacturer of domesticware, toys and turned wood and ivory articles. Two of ivory handles included in this group were turned by Parkes in his shop at No. 9 Hunter street which he occupied from 1847 till 1852. Other objects, which also bear the mark ‘Henry Parkes and Co.’, were imported from overseas and retailed from the shops he ran throughout most of his career.
Sculpted Elephant, carved from graphite, purchased from F Krantz, 1884, Powerhouse Museum, 6189
For most of the hundred-plus years this graphite elephant has been in the Powerhouse Museum’s collections it has been inextricably tied to the Garden Palace fire of 1882. The main reason for this has been the ongoing claims that the elephant was one of the only Museum objects to survive the flames. These claims have, over the years, increased its significance and given it a special place within the Museum’s collections. But research over the past few years has revealed a very complicated tale, and while this elephant has played a starring role, it is perhaps not quite as heroic as once thought.
Coathangers, The Powerhouse Museum Collectioin
We are always talking about how strange, ecletic and vast the Museum’s collection is. So I thought I might introduce you to group of quirky coat hangers from the Mid-Twentieth Century, that I came across last week. From velvet, crochet to bread tags they look exactly like something my Nanna would give me.