Historical information

In 1948, the citizens of Kew presented this jewellery box to the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress of Kew, Cr & Mrs W D Vaughan. In 2021, it returned to Kew, thanks to the generous donations of our Friends of the Collection. William David Vaughan to whom the jewel box was presented in 1948 was a publisher, politician and historian, born in 1897 at Heathcote. By 1922, he had become a publisher and Secretary of Victorian Newspapers Ltd. In October 1922, he married Muriel Gladys Frazer in Bendigo. He purchased 'Elsfield' in Cotham Road, renamed it 'Carramar', and resided there for almost fifty years. His wife, the Mayoress, was an accomplished pianist and entertained the wives of councillors and supported many charitable works from her home. In 1926, Vaughan founded a local newspaper, the Kew Advertiser. During his second term as Mayor, he was elected president of Melbourne Suburban Newspapers’ Association, In April 1947, he was appointed to and later became chairman of the Free Library Services Board. In 1960, he published his history of Kew - 'Kew's Civic Century'. Vaughan’s third term as Mayor in 1962-63 saw the erection of the pavilion at Victoria Park and the final clean-up of the Outer Circle Railway. He died in September 1976.


This inlaid and engraved jewellery box was part of a larger donation made to the Mayor and Mayoress of Kew in 1948 by the citizens of the municipality. It is the only 'civic award' in the collection given to a former civic leader and complements the large collection of civic portraits in the collection. The box is additionally significant because of its association with William David Vaughan - newspaper proprietor, local politician, and local historian.

Physical description

A presentation jewellery box, she-oak with barber pole inlay adorned with an Australian silver plaque.

Inscriptions & markings

Engraved inscription on silver plaque - "Presented to Cr & Mrs W.D. Vaughan With The Esteem And Appreciation Of The Citizens Of Kew And In Recognition Of their Services As Mayor And Mayoress 1947-48. 28th July 1948"