Historical information

This sideboard was originally used in the dining room of the Manse, the chaplains' residence. Upon completion of the Institute building in 1917, the Goldsmiths moved in after living for many uncomplaining years in a flat on Australia Wharf, which had “many disadvantages and discomforts”.

The stamps in the drawer indicate the furniture was manufactured by H.F Fischer (Heinrich Friedrich Fischer). His store is mentioned in many advertisings as manufacturer and seller of furniture and was located at the 322 City Road address between 1909 and 1912 and is listed in the Sands & McDougall's in 1910.
From 1913 his address changed to 308-310 City Road.

The ‘European labour only’ stamp was a legal requirement in Victoria where it was set out in the Factories and Shops Act of 1896. Its purpose was to distinguish between furniture made in Victoria by Chinese workers and that made by Europeans, meaning Australians of European origin. To distinguish them, the European stamp was square or rectangular, the Chinese stamp was trianguler.


It is not known when they were purchased or gifted and by whom.
The facture is of quality, as indicated by the tenon and mortise joints of the drawers.

The Wellers photographed the dining suite during his stay betwenn 1926-1929 (see item 1568).

Physical description

Wooden Oakwood Arts and Crafts sideboard

Inscriptions & markings

2 rectangular Stamps in purple ink in the drawer: " Manufactured by / H.F. Fischer/ 322 City Road / European Labour Only"