Sunday, 16 June 2013

Cast Iron Australian


A wonderfully ornate Australian Letter Box from 1890 which stands 5' 9" (1.8 metres) high.  The vertical slot seen was so people on horseback could post letters without dismounting.  I presume from the postmark incorporated into the stamp that it is, or was, in Pyrmont, New South Wales.  The first ever Australian box was cast in bronze, the design, by TW Levinge, was based on the 1850s Belgium and Parisian boxes.  Installed in the suburbs of Sydney in 1856, they became widespread even being exported to New Zealand.  It was not until the 1870s that they were painted red.
Bubb and Son from their Victoria foundry in Sydney (their name is on the door) made these boxes adding to the tradition of wonderful metalwork by 19th century craftsmen and are commonly referred to as Bubbs Boxes.  (Robert Bubb was a migrant to Australia from Gloucestershire in England)  The rounded top is a stylised  Australian flower of the waratah bush surrounded by acanthus leaves.  The copperplate writing looks as though it runs all the way round underneath.  There is also a more traditional opening on the other side.   Not many of these boxes survive, some are no longer used but have been adopted by the local area as historic pieces of street furniture. Australia Post has one that it lends out to people for events.   

4 comments:

Hawwa said...

Interesting!

Lisa B said...

Old letterboxes are amazing! It's always so nice to spot one somewhere.

Indrani said...

With internet all these are going to vanish soon. So I think they are precious!

VioletSky said...

These are beautiful. I don't remember ever seeing any pillar boxes in Canada. sigh.