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Date: 1929
Overall: 225 x 225 mm, 174.86 g
Medium: Wood, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mick Roberts
Object Name: Bowl
Object No: 00044927

User Terms

    This pokerwork bowl features a decorative butterfly design and was made from timbers taken from HMAS SYDNEY (I), the famous World War I vessel that was victorious against SMS EMDEN in 1914. After SYDNEY was decommissioned and sent to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for scrapping in 1929, the workers used parts of the ship to create thousands of souvenirs.
    SignificanceThis souvenir bowl is representative of the vessel HMAS SYDNEY (I) and its battle with SMS EMDEN, in what was Australia's first naval victory. It demonstrates the production of souvenir items from material taken from navy ships.
    HistoryThe battle between HMAS SYDNEY and SMS EMDEN in 1914 marked the coming of age of the Royal Australian Navy. The ship's successful defeat of the German raider declared that Australia was a capable naval force. The success was widely celebrated in Australia and the ship's name proudly worn by a further three ships of the Royal Australian Navy. When SYDNEY was decommissioned in 1928 and sent to Cockatoo Island Dockyard in early 1929 for scrapping, the dockyard workers made a myriad of souvenirs from the ship's different materials, most notably the brass shells and timber deck. Souvenirs include but are not limited to ashtrays, bowls, mantle clocks, walking sticks, desk sets, and other household items.

    Pokerwork is a traditional decorative technique that involves burning designs into wood using a heated tool. After a design is burned into a wooden object it is coloured with pigments. Pokerwork is commonly achieved on light grains of wood, including pine and oak.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS SYDNEY I bowl

    Assigned title: HMAS SYDNEY I bowl

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