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Melbourne Museum

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Donation Box - Widow & Orphans, IOOF, circa 1870 Object Reg. No: SH 960103

Wooden box used within the Prince Albert Lodge, part of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, to collect charitable donations from members for the support of widows and children of deceased members. It was used around 1870.
Wooden box, made of cheap varnished pine, with a lid with two brass hinges at the back. The outside bottom edge of the box has a small 'architrave' around it, to give the box more presence. The top of the box is painted in gold paint (now faded) in an ornate shadowed script. There is a slit cut into the top for donations of money, and a keyhole lined with brass in the centre front of the box. The rest of the lock mechanism is missing. The front of the lid is broken off and is missing. There are two small holes drilled into the top of the box at the back. Varnish is worn and faded.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Independent Order of Oddfellows, 1996
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 45.00 mm (Height), 80.00 mm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Measurement From Conservation. Depth =67mm

More information

Tagged with: community organisations services, temperance societies
Themes this item is part of: Independent Order of Oddfellows, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: SOCIETIES
Secondary Classification: Friendly
Tertiary Classification: furnishings
Inscriptions: In Gold Script: Widow & Orphans/ BOX / Prince Albert Lodge
Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 1870
User: Independent Order of Oddfellows, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1870


Michael Holmes Posted on 20 Apr 2010 10:40 AM
My wife and I came into possession of an IOOF certificate about 20 years ago - given by a dear long departed friend of ours. It is an original colour certificate that indicates that the person, Brother Isaac Domzen, is accepted a member of the IOOF Widows and Orphans Fund, Bendigo District, dated 14th Jan 1873, signed William Cox, Secretary. The certificate is framed and is about 42cm (W) by 52cm (H). Can you tell me the history behind this curio? We know nothing about it or the person so named.
Michael and Helen Holmes
Discovery Centre Posted on 21 Apr 2010 10:32 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Michael and Helen, you will find a detailed history of the IOOF in Australia in the book entitled "Odd Fellows" by Geoffrey Blainey, which is available at libraries throughout Australia. For details about the person named in the certificate, you may want to find government records associated with him or his family. These can be sourced via the website of the Public Records Office Victoria: http://www.prov.vic.gov.au
tania star Posted on 14 Jul 2013 6:17 PM
I have a similar box with A.O.F mailbox written on the front side. the lid has a slot for envelopes to go through. I obtained it many years ago from my grandfather when he passed away. My father thought it stood for Australian Odd Fellow and was used in the courts to collect fines money for charity. Are you able to give me any information on this box. The colorings of the writing and box is similar to the above picture. it also has a lock on it. I use it as a jewelery box.

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