Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Exciting Find

The Brisbane Art Deco book edited by Kimberley Wilson

Somehow, I'm not quite sure how, but fortuitously...I came across this book - Brisbane Art Deco.  I think it was on Facebook.  The book was launched in June this year at Avid Reader.  Anyway, the Facebook page intrigued me enough to borrow a copy of the book from my local library.  At the time I was really trying to control my spending on books.  There was a bit of a wait list for it at the library and when I finally got it, I didn't really have time to read it.  It was only recently that I borrowed it again and finally delved into it.

It is such a joy to read.  Lots of beautiful photos and great text.

What I love about it, is that it is introducing me to a city that I never knew as a child but only arrived at as a twenty-year old.  It makes me look at the architecture of the place. That's why I love Brisbane's Open House weekend too which is coming up this weekend and that's how I discovered Coronet Court which I got to troop around with a friend last year.  Coronet Court is featured in this book.

On Saturday night, I did my usual "wake up" in the middle of the night and so I decided to read it cover to cover.  Joy oh joy, on page 66, I sat straight up in bed and softly breathed "Oh! Oh! Oh!" as I read the following words...

"owner occupiers Daw and Slack...."   

My husband's great-great grandfather Thomas Daw was a butcher and was in partnership with Frederick Slack.  Hoorah!  I had found one of their shops!  I have to say that it is probably the most uninspiring looking building in the book but I'm still very excited to have found it.

The Brisbane Courier 7 June 1890 - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I'd been looking in all the wrong places.  I think I annoyed John Oxley Library people at State Library at one time trying to find photos of the streets where their shops were but to no real avail.  

I now realize I should have been looking at Brisbane City Archives so am resolved to go back there and search the archives more thoroughly.

By the way, if you want a copy of the book Brisbane Art Deco, they have sold out online copies.  I found mine at fabulous Folio Books in the city...they had about 30 copies left on Sunday afternoon.  But be quick.  Other retailers like Mary Ryan and SLQ had sold out.  You won't regret it.  It's a beautiful publication.  I paid $34.95.

So that was my exciting find for the week.  What was yours?

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