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Mass of Fused Metal with Coin - Ash Wednesday Bushfires, Mt Macedon, Victoria, 16 Feb 1983 Object Reg. No: HT 28193

Summary:
Mass of dark fused metal found in the ashes of Viewfield, a house in Mt. Macedon owned by John and Zelma Gartner, after the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. This is one of the few traces of an extensive and important collection of coins and banknotes assembled by noted numismatist John Gartner, all of which was lost in the fire. The coin is believed to be Chinese cash.

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:
Mass of metal in which a coin has been fused. The entire object is black with the effects of the fire and the original shape of the metal cannot be discerned.
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: 48 mm (Height), 60 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: bushfires, coin collecting, ash wednesday bushfires 1983, chinese, collectors
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, 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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