Historical information

The desk was used by the head keeper and supplied by the Public Works Department, and possibly dates to when the lightstation commenced operations in 1884. Closer inspection of the wood may reveal the Crown motif and PWD monogram on the side or underpart of the furnishing. The PWD operated in Victoria from 1855 to 1987 and was responsible for the design of Victoria’s major public buildings and infrastructure as well as the supply of stores, furniture and equipment. The desk is identical to the large example remaining at Point Hicks. A smaller version, which is at Cape Schanck, has two sides stamped with the crown motif and PWD monogram. Another of the smaller desks formerly at Cape Schanck is now missing. Gabo Island has a small cedar desk or table in the same style, but with one drawer. There are also c.mid‐twentieth century desks remaining in the collections at Wilsons Promontory and Gabo Island.


The Cape Nelson desk has first level contributory significance for its provenance and historical value as a government issued furnishing that is original to lightstation’s head keeper’s office.

Physical description

The large, late nineteenth century cedar desk has two drawers, leather inset top and sturdy turned legs. The drawers each have a pair of wooden knob pulls.