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2008/105/6 Folding headrest, wood / metal, maker not recorded, probably China, used by Wing Sang & Co Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1900 - 1980. Click to enlarge.

Folding headrest

Made by in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1900-1980.

This folding headrest has significance in the heritage of Chinese Australians. It helps to document the commercial life of a family of fruit and vegetable wholesale merchants who made a considerable fortune after settling in Australia.

After the gold rush, many Chinese Australians became market gardeners or hawkers. Mar Sun Gee, grandfather of the donor of this object, was one of the five business people who founded Wing Sang & Co in Sydney’s Haymarket in 1890. The others founders included Kwok...

Summary

Object No.

2008/105/6

Object Statement

Folding headrest, wood / metal, maker not recorded, probably China, used by Wing Sang & Co Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1900 - 1980

Physical Description

Headrest with wooden base, metal supports and curved surface for resting the head. The headrest folds into one plane for portability and storage. Chinese characters painted in black ink on the curved surface: "Yong Sheng Gong Si" (Yongsheng (Wing Sang, Eternal Life) Co.).

Marks

Chinese characters painted in black ink on the curved surface: "Yong Sheng Gong Si" (Yongsheng (Wing Sang, Eternal Life) Co.).
Chinese characters are painted in black ink on reverse side of curved wooden surface.

Dimensions

Height

124 mm

Width

94 mm

Production

Notes

Maker unknown. Probably made in China.

Yongsheng Co. (Wing Sang Co.) was founded in 1880 in Sydney by two immgrants from Hong Kong. At the beginning, the company just operated local fruit and vegetable business. At the beginning of the 20th century, the company was very successful and has grown to involve international fruit and vegetable trading between Australia and Hong Kong.

Reference:
http://www.infzm.com/content/27235
http://news.southcn.com/gdnews/xhgm/sl/content/2011-09/29/content_30677707.htm

History

Notes

The headrest belonged to Wing Sang & Co and was used by its employees for taking naps at lunch time. Users would lie down and rest their heads on the curved surface.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Gordon Mar, 2008

Acquisition Date

21 May 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

Folding headrest 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 November 2019, <https://ma.as/380468>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/380468 |title=Folding headrest |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 November 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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