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18 December 2009
Arts Minister Peter Garrett today announced funding of $85,000 from the Australian Government's National Cultural Heritage Account to assist the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) acquire an 1885 blackwood agricultural trophy table.
"This table is an extremely rare example of late colonial furniture and is of high historical significance to Australia," Mr Garrett said.
"Awarded as an agricultural prize by the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society it is also an example of a tradition that was particularly strong in Tasmania.
"The rarity, origin and unique style of manufacture means this piece is an important part of the story of Australian colonial society.
"It is a magnificent and unique example of popular taste in the 1880s, with the table base made from Australian blackwood and the top from polished stones, some semi precious. It also has a very fine central micro-mosaic panel of Italian origin."
Mr Garrett said the Australian Government was pleased to assist the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery purchase the table through the National Cultural Heritage Account.
"The blackwood trophy table will be a fine addition to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery's nationally significant colonial furniture collection," TMAG Senior Curator of Decorative Arts Peter Hughes said.
The Art Foundation of Tasmania and a private donor also assisted the museum in purchasing the table.
The Australian Government's National Cultural Heritage Account has assisted cultural organisations, ranging from regional historical societies to state-based and national collecting institutions, buy more than 30 nationally significant objects or collections since its inception in 1999.