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A7437-2/13/1 Curtain pelmet, wood, made by Wunderlich Limited, Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1908-1909. Click to enlarge.

Curtain pelmet

Made by Wunderlich Limited in Redfern, New South Wales, 1908-1909.

This curtain pelmet was used by Wunderlich Limited, one of Australia’s most significant building companies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Wunderlich products found their way into many aspects of Australian life from grand facades like the Government Bank in Martin Place, to domestic ceilings, to garbage bins, and engine cowlings produced as part of the war effort. These pre fabricated stamped ceiling and wall panels went on to become one of the Company’s most iconic products, an...

Summary

Object No.

A7437-2/13/1

Object Statement

Curtain pelmet, wood, made by Wunderlich Limited, Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1908-1909

Physical Description

Curtain pelmet, wood, made by Wunderlich Limited, Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1908-1909

A curtain pelmet consisting of a rectangular piece of wood.

Production

History

Notes

This object is part of the Museum's 'Wunderlich' collection, which was acquired by the Museum in 1980.

Wunderlich Limited was one of Australia's most significant building companies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and created elements of many significant Sydney buildings, including the Centennial Hall ceiling in the Sydney Town Hall.

In 1969 the Wunderlich Company was taken over by Colonial Sugar Refining Company Limited (CSR) and de-listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1970. In 1979 CSR sold Wunderlich's Redfern site, with all the original buildings to be demolished to make way for a shopping centre. In November, that same year, CSR gave the Museum $20,000 to rescue the collection of the Wunderlich Factory, before it was lost forever.[1]

Most of the artefacts in the Wunderlich Collection came from the spectacular Art Deco showroom created by the company in 1929. This particular object was collected from the Wunderlich Boardroom, housed in the administration block. The administration block was constructed in 1908 to house the growing number of workers. The boardroom was designed for management meetings and was noteworthy for its elaborate interior decoration of stamped metal panels in a later Victorian Neo-Classical mode.

The Museum employed the assistance of Industrial Archaeologists to help preserve and document the site before its demolition. The Curator in 1980, John Wade, thought it imperative to act quickly as demolition had already begun by the time Museum staff could get to the buildings, and numerous objects were being stolen from the demolition site on a nightly basis. The archaeologists were racing the bulldozers to preserve what was left of the site and worked quickly to preserve anything they could.[2]

This collection is again being worked on in 2008, as part of the Total Asset Management Collections Project, to increase accessibility of documentation relating to the Wunderlich objects. This collection project has not only preserved some of its products, but has given an insight into the development, operation and impact of a great Australian company, which became an institution.

Reference:
[1]Susan Bures and Barry Groom, Wunderlich Project Report, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, 1980-1981
[2]Memo from John Wade to acting director D. Walsh, Museum Archives
[3]"Wunderlich story to be persevered", Sydney Morning Herald, 6th March 1980
John Wade, 'Rediscovering Wunderlich', Heritage Conservation News

Cite this Object

Harvard

Curtain pelmet 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 October 2019, <https://ma.as/190540>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/190540 |title=Curtain pelmet |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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