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Monday, March 29, 2010

x6 1940s signwritten masonite boards from the urban_archaeology collection

Along George Street between Roma and Turbot Streets on the right hand side going to the old Brisbane markets were remnant colonial buildings of mixed use. Opposite the McDonald & East emporium was a relatively ornate two story building belonging to the Independent Order of Rechabites, I remember this interior particularly because on Saturday morning for about year I learnt 'harmonica' there. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and it was the late 1950s . . . in my spare time as I waited to be picked-up I window shopped in every store and the dry cleaning shop on that block had by far the most modern interior. By the late 1980s the entire block was slated for regeneration, purchased by the Queensland Government and the last generation of hip traders rented shops and dispensed their trade there. The John Bunston Contemporary Gallery, Jon & Claire Adams of Chi-Chi Deluxe fame were two sets of friends who traded there, I remember an early artist run space called 'the observatory' as well.
I watched the shops like a hawk as the scaffolding went up, I wanted those sign boards, I managed to buy the 6 signs from the demolition crew on the Sunday morning as they razed the entire block.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court commands part of that city block today and it is ironic that Barbara & I worked on our most successful commission, courtroom handles and lift plates, for that award winning building in mid 2000.

These signs are well thought out, beautifully executed in a a range of harmonious colours and are hand painted which is a rare thing in today's sign business.


  1. Just great. Thank you for saving and sharing these.