Friday, December 12, 2008

The Old Curiosity Shop

Went round to visit a dear friend of mine Brigitte the other night. She lives in the "Old Curiosity Shop" which her and her late husband Ian lovingly restored a while ago. It is such a beautiful home which was originally built by James Warwick over 142 years ago. The 19th century miners cottage and garden walls are encrusted with a lovely patina of shells, mirrors, glass, china dolls, figurines, teapots, pebbles, etc. 
Warwick emigrated to Australia, and became a chimney maker and bricklayer. He used traditional mortar of lime and sand to decorate his small cottage with shells. Children living by the goldfields also sold him (for thruppence or sixpence) broken china and china dolls to continue his work on the house. The project took 40 years to complete.
The house is now the private residence of Brigitte and I am very lucky to visit a part of Ballarat history whenever I pop round...
The following 2 photos below are of Mr & Mrs Warwick Circa 1895


you-wee because said...

Hi Sylvia!

Unfortunately I didn't find some current photos of the "Old Curiosity Shop" on the internet. Although there was the event of "Ballarat Gardens in Spring" quite recently.
Does it still look the same like 100 years before? With all the whimsical pots, sculptures and decorative treasures? Are there still some of the old chinaware dolls sticking at the garden walls?

The girl's name Brigitte sounds like another Australian lady with German roots at your part of this planet. Is there something like a "German corner" (German community) at Ballarat? Or was it more a remarkable coincidence...?

Try to enjoy your pre-Christmas week, although you don't have any snow or ice or low temperatures to get into the true Christmas spirit... ;-))


schmookie said...

Hey Uwe!

The house still has the dolls heads and bits of china on the walls...Yes my friend had the garden open as part of the open garden scheme here..Its a bit of a coincidence that we are friends...and she has european roots...

There is no snow...but we have had plenty of rain...and it has been quite cold here...even had the wood fire on over the weekend (no summer yet)...but I am jealous that you get to have christmas with day I will go to germany for christmas too...

Enjoy the silly season!!!


you-wee because said...

Unfortunately most of the snow we got end of last week is already gone... ;-(

But that's the Schicksal (--> destiny) of all "Flachlandtiroler" (--> mountainman wannabe???) who do not live in the uplands or even in the Alpine region of Germany.

This means that we'll probably get "brown (or grey) Xmas" instead of "white Christmas" in our part of the world. As often.

Schicksal: "Alles ist auf eine faltale Weise so. Oder anders."

Enjoy your day! ;-))