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Counter - Customs House, Williamstown, circa 1871 Reg. No: HT 14783
- Wooden counter which was removed from the Williamstown Customs House in the late 1980s, when it was vacated by Australian Customs, its original location is the subject of some debate.
The Williamstown and Flinders Street Custom Houses were completed in the first half of the 1870s, and designed by the same government architect, Peter Kerr, so it is possible that similar fittings were used in both buildings.
A plaque attached to the desk when it was installed at the Customs Building in Flinders Street, Melbourne, in the 1990s, notes that it was used at the Williamstown Customs House from 1871-1981. However an engraving of the Long Room at the Customs House in Flinders Street, Melbourne, depicts wooden counters of the same style and dimensions as this one. So it is also possible that this counter is an original fitting from the Melbourne Customs House, removed when Customs vacated the building in the 1960s, and transferred to the Williamstown Customs House as a `memento' of the old building.
Custom House buildings were constructed at major Victorian ports during the mid to late 19th Century.
- Carved wooden counter (possibly cedar), which has a modern varnish finish. It has had some conversion work to the back of it in the 1980s to convert it to a work station (including the removal of drawers and partitions) but it comes with all the removed parts.
A small inscribed metal plaque is attached to the front of the desk.
- Acquisition Information:
- Transfer from Australian Customs Service, 2007
|Dimensions:||100.00 cm (Height), 70.00 cm (Width), 300.00 cm (Length)|
|Tagged with:||customs houses, furniture, desks, counters|
|Themes this item is part of:||Migration Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Immigration Museum|
|Secondary Classification:||Customs & Excise|
|Tertiary Classification:||office furniture|
|Inscriptions:||On plaque: 'THIS COUNTER MADE OF CEDAR / WAS USED AT THE CUSTOMS HOUSE, WILLIAMSTOWN / FROM 1871 - 1981". Inscribed at base with maker's name 'ROESZLER / MELBOURNE'.|
|User:||Australian Customs Service, Victoria, Australia, circa 1871-1981|
|Place Used:||Williamstown, Victoria, Australia|
|Place Used:||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|