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96/250/1 Presentation set, for setting the first stone in the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge, wood / metal / ivory / fabric, made by Allerding & Son, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1887, presented to Louis Samuel, civil engineer, 6 June 1887. Click to enlarge.

Presentation set for setting the first stone in the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridg

Made
This presentation set was presented to Louis Samuel, the contractor responsible for the masonry work on the piers of the first Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge across the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales. It was an important and unique undertaking in the growth of the NSW railways. The ivory gavel would have been used to tap the stone for the stone-setting ceremony shortly after completion of the first pier on June 6th 1887.

Prior to 1889 the railway lines stretched from Sydney with the …

Summary

Object No.

96/250/1

Object Statement

Presentation set, for setting the first stone in the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge, wood / metal / ivory / fabric, made by Allerding & Son, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1887, presented to Louis Samuel, civil engineer, 6 June 1887

Physical Description

A wooden presentation box lined with blue fabric containing a presentation trowel and a gavel both with ivory handles. The trowel and gavel were used in the stone setting ceremony held after the completion of the first pier for the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge on 6th June 1887. There is also a key for the box and a newspaper clipping with a photograph of the bridge.

Marks

Trowel - insc. "Presented / TO / MRS LOUIS SAMUEL / on the occasion of / setting the first stone in / HAWKESBURY BRIDGE PIER / N.S.W. / This pier is the deepest foundation in the world / being [blank] feet below high water". Makers insc. verso. "F. ALLERDING & SON SYDNEY" and hallmarks
Box - fabric label inside lid c.c."F. ALLERDING & SON / 25 HUNTER ST / SYDNEY".
Gavel - no marks.

Production

Notes

Inscription on box and on trowel "F Allerding & Sons, Sydney'. Silversmith markings also on trowel. Frederick Allerding & Son (act.1876-1923) was a prominent Sydney jewellery firm located in Hunter Street. At the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879 the firm was commended "for skilful workmanship and good quality of gold and shell jewellery".

History

Notes

Inscription on the trowel reads "Presented to Mr Louis Samuel on the occasion of settling the first stone in Hawkesbury Bridge Pier N.S.W. Sydney-based stonework contractor Louis Samuel & Co was awarded the tender for the masonry work on the bridge piers after the job was advertised worldwide. Louis Samuel & Co was the only Australian company to be awarded a contract on the massive project, with the Union Bridge Co. of New York winning the tender for both sinking the piers and constructing the spans.

Louis Samuel (1861-1887) was a civil engineer and the son of Sir Saul Samuel, Agent General for NSW in London at the time. Louis Samuel died from peritonitis on November 29th 1887, after only three of the six bridge piers were completed. He was just 26 years old.

The donor of this presentation set is the great-grandson of Louis Samuel.

This object was displayed in an exhibition at Central railway station on 24 September 2005 entitled 'NSW Railways – the first 50 years' held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of railways in NSW.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr Hugo H Morriss, 1996

Acquisition Date

10 July 1996

Cite this Object

Harvard

Presentation set for setting the first stone in the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridg 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2021, <https://ma.as/150830>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/150830 |title=Presentation set for setting the first stone in the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridg |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}