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BUILDINGS AM) WORKS.

«

PROGRESS OF THE TRADES.

AUSTRALIAN MARBLE.

Mr. R. T. Baker, Curator of the Technologi- cal Museum, has Issued a very fine work dealing with "Building and Ornamental Stones ot Australia." The work is beautifully Illus- trated with coloured photographs of tho vari- ous granites, marbles, and freestones used for building purposes throughout the Common- wealth, and also photographs of tho buildings in' which these stones have been used. Tho book was prepared by the Government Prin- ten and is Intended for distribution at tho Panama Exhibition. -, '

Tho aim of the work Is to show that Aus- tralia has an unlimited supply of building and ornamental stones which lend themselves ad- mirably to tho purpose of decorative art. With the possession of such magnificent build- ing material, and the gradual development of national artistic perception, there is no rea- son why wo should not evolve a very high slandaid of architectural decoration. The research work carried out by Mr. Baker nn.l his colleagues at the Sydney Technological Museum Is of great industrial value, and the circulation abroad of such a volume as the ono under review should throw a now light on this country.

Technical literature on the subject of build- ing stones to be found in Australia is limited. In the early days settlers found at hand a convenient substitute tor stone in the hard- woods, and in Sydney sandstone was so plen- tiful and so easily worked that no one thought

of going afield to explore for something bet- ter, and even to-day freestone, as the sand- stone is often called, is nearly everywhere employed by architects and builders. Occas sionally Bowral trachyte in the rough or polished form is Introduced into the larger buildings. However, in 1838 mention is made In Mitchell's "Expedition into Australia" of the uso of marble. It Is .stated: "Near tho Wol- londilly, and a few miles from Towrang, a Quarry of orystalllno variegated marblo has been recently wrought to a considerable ex- tent, and marble chimney-pieces, tables, etc., now ornament most houses In Sydney. This marblo occurs In blocks over greenstone, and has hitherto boon found only In that spot." It may be mentioned that since that date It Is from this district (Marulan) that Sydney has cbtaincd its Btono lime for many ycrlrs. Of late, howover, other districts have supplied new fields for limestone. But, as proof of the polished marbia having been used in houses In Sydney erected In the 'Thirties and 'Forties, Mr. Baker, in his work. Illustrates a mantcl pieco taken from the houso known as Bnrcom Glen, near Darlinghurst (now demolished) be- longing to tho late Mr. 0. AA'est. This marble was obtained from Marulan, near Goulburn. The next period at which public nttcntion was drawn to Now South Wales marblo was at tho I'nrls Exhibition of 1S55, whero the commis- sioners from New South AA'ales exhibited a white marble from Abercrombie and n green marble from Emu Swamp. Mr. W. Patten, of Sydney, also exhibited a specimen of Argyle marble obtained nt Marulan.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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