Historical information

This is a car picnic set made by the English firm of G. W. Scott and Sons who were producers of wickerwork crafts, basketry and luxury leather goods. The business was founded in 1661 and ceased operations in 1967. The picnic set belonged to Dr Horace Iles Holmes (1877-1959) who was born and educated in Tasmania and completed a medical degree at Melbourne University. He commenced a practice in Warrnambool in 1906 and was the Honorary Medical Officer at the Warrnambool Hospital and Warrnambool’s Health Officer. His practice was at ‘Ierne’ at the corner of Spence and Kepler Streets. He was an early member of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons and was prominent in Warrnambool community affairs (Foundation President of Warrnmbool Rotary Club, a member of the local Masonic Lodge for over 50 years, Warrnambool Hospital Committee member, long-term Trustee of the Warrnambool Methodist Church and President of the Lyndoch Hostel for the Aged Committee). Dr Holmes also had agricultural interests and enjoyed fishing, golf and bowls. He also had a motor car and this picnic set would have been used for family picnics.


This picnic set is of considerable significance because:
1. It is a good example of the luxury picnic sets owned by more affluent people in the 1930s and 40s.
2. It has important local provenance as it belonged to Horace Holmes, a doctor associated with the professional and community life of Warrnambool for over 50 years.

Physical description

This is a rectangular wooden box with a leather covering. It has metal hinges on the corners of the box and two two metal catches on the side with a leather belt and metal buckle on one of these catches with one leather belt missing on the other side. These leather straps were to attach the picnic box to the running board of the car. There are also two metal catches or locks on the front of the box. Inside the box there is a white lining with a plaited wickerwork insert containing spaces for the following:
1. large china container with a silver top
2. smaller metal container with a silver lid
3. small rectangular metal tin with a silver lid. This container still has some loose tea leaves inside
4. four china cups
5. two circular china dishes for jam and butter
6. four china saucers
7. one glass bottle with a silver top
8. one metal phial, silver-coloured
9. one amber-coloured glass bottle (probably not an original)
10. four nickel silver spoons
11. three metal forks
12. three white enamel plates, blue edged
Numbers 10,11 and 12 are held in place by leather straps on the inside of the lid of the box
13. two loose metal straps
14. one metal kettle with a handle with cane strapping, a brass lid, a brass spout with an end chain and a metal inscription
15. The kettle is sitting in a metal tray which has a lighting mechanism to heat the water
The picnic set has some rusted metal catches on the exterior of the box and the leather is very stained and torn in places.

Inscriptions & markings

‘Remove screw before lighting G.W.S. & S ‘
‘Coracle brand’