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Model - Captain Cook's Cottage, Cyril Noisette, Icing, 1934 Object Reg. No: HT 19319

This scale model of Captain Cook's Cottage was made by Cyril Noisette in 1934. It is constructed of icing over a wooden frame and is encased in a custom made glass and wooden case. Cyril Noisette worked as a cake decorator for MacRobertson at the time. Upon completion, the model lived at home with the Noisette family in Newry Street, North Fitzroy. The glass case in which the model sits was made for it upon completion. The model used to be lit from underneath; the electrical cord is still visible.

As a souvenir of the Centenary of Melbourne, Cyril Noisette's model of Cook's Cottage very nicely links two great men of centenary celebrations, Macpherson Robertson and Russell Grimwade, with one of the more unusual celebratory events - the transplanting of Cook's Cottage from England to Fitzroy Gardens.

As a piece of confectionary decoration this model demonstrates the skill of its modeller and illustrates an aspect of MacRobertson's output not typified by its retail presence. MacRobertson's was the largest and most prominent confectionary factory in Melbourne at the time of the centenary celebrations. It created and produced many of Australia's iconic chocolate bars: eg Freddo Frog, Cherry Ripe, Crunchie, and Old Gold. Cyril Noisette, employed as a sugar decorator in 1934, undertook this project to develop his professional skills. Noisette's decision to use Cook's Cottage as his subject was obviously very topical. Not only did it provide a complex 3-D form for him to model, it also allowed him to commemorate the centenary in a very personal way.

The model is an exact replica, even down to the plants planted around the cottage. Noisette was meticulous in his research: he wrote to Grimwade asking if permission was needed to reproduce the cottage; he received a letter about the plants being grown for planting around the cottage; he used photographs of the cottage from newspaper articles and a souvenir booklet; he created a number of sketches of the cottage with measurements and notes. He also kept receipts for hardware purchases, and his wife wrote a list of materials and ingredients used to model the cottage with purchase dates, quantities and costs.

Macpherson Robertson visited the Noisette family home to see the finished cottage. Whilst his chauffeur stayed outside standing guard over the Bentley, Mac Robertson presented Cyril Noisette with a framed certificate.

In 1938 Cyril Noisette left MacRobertson's and set up a toy shop in St George's Road, North Fitzroy.
Wooden frame covered in icing. The model is a to-scale and realistically coloured replica of Captain Cook's Cottage in Fitzroy Garden.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr & Mrs Don & Barbara Noisette, 2008
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 820 mm (Height), 820 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: celebrations, confectionery, melbourne centenary 1935, trades, victoria centenary 1934-1935
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Centenary of Victoria
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
Place & Date Depicted: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1934
Maker: J.C. Clarke & Sons, Victoria, Australia, 1934
Modelmaker: Mr Cyril Noisette, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1934-1937

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