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Mass of Fused Glass & Coral - Ash Wednesday Bushfires, Mt Macedon, Victoria, 16 Feb 1983 Object Reg. No: HT 28188

Summary:
Mass of slumped glass with insertions of melted coral, found in the ashes of Viewfield, a house in Mt. Macedon owned by John and Zelma Gartner, after the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. The glass had originally been a crystal vase in the living area of the house, while the coral came from pieces of jewellery kept in the first-floor bedroom. During the fire the first floor collapsed into the ground floor; the heat was so intense that the metal findings of the jewellery vapourised, and the coral melted and dripped onto the molten crystal of the vase.

The small community of Mt Macedon, northwest of Melbourne, was engulfed by bushfire on the night of 16 February, when a late wind change directed the fire from East Trentham up onto the mountain. 7 people died and 628 homes were destroyed in East Trentham and Mt Macedon.
Description:
Irregular mass of fused glass with soot embedded on the surface, as well as red droplets of melted and solidified coral.
Statement Of Significance:
The Ash Wednesday bushfires of February 1983 were one of Australia's greatest natural disasters, as 'holocaust fires' swept through Victoria and South Australia. In the space of a single day in Victoria, 47 people were killed and nearly 3000 homes and other buildings destroyed. This object, along with others from the same house, demonstrates the severity and extent of the fire in Mt Macedon. It is an eloquent symbol of the destruction of the specific property in which it was found, but it also represents the universal power of fire to irrevocably change objects, homes and lives.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Zelma Gartner, 2011
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 64 mm (Height), 75 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: bushfires, glass, ash wednesday bushfires 1983, coral
Themes this item is part of: Sustainable Futures Collection, Victorian Bushfires Collection
Primary Classification: SUSTAINABILITY
Secondary Classification: Natural Disasters
Tertiary Classification: bushfires
Past Owner: John Gartner, Mt Macedon, Victoria, Australia, 16 Feb 1983
Past Owner: Mrs Zelma Gartner, Mt Macedon, Victoria, Australia, 16 Feb 1983
References: http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/fire-and-other-emergencies/major-bushfires-in-victoria/ash-wednesday-1983 (accessed 08/01/12)

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