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Silky Oak cabinet containing a gramophone

2006.0022.0001

Silky Oak cabinet containing a gramophone

Object information

Physical description

Wooden silky oak cabinet containing gramophone with doors at front and hinged lid, standing on four short legs with castor wheels. Lid opens to reveal turntable and arm, doors open to reveal decorative pierced wood screen with silky brocade fabric behind. Engraved metal plaque, top centre with text "Made By / Rev. J. W. Schomberg / ST. PAUL'S MISSION / MOA ISLAND / TORRES STRAITS 1934". Right wall with metal fixture to insert crank handle for operation. Supplied with crank handle.

Statement of significance

The Rev. J.W. Schomberg Collection consists of a home-made gramophone, four boxes of gramophone needles and thirty-five records, all dating from the early 1930s. The gramophone's cabinet was constructed by Junius Schomberg, from silky oak wood, in imitation of those available through retailers in the early 1930s. What is most unusual about this gramophone is that Schomberg has used a giant whelk shell as an amplifier, hidden within the cabinet.

Between August 1921 and his sudden death on 5 February 1936 at the age of forty-five, Junius was superintendent of the Mission for Pacific Islands and based at the Torres Strait mission of St Paul's on Moa Island. The collection's significance lies in its close association with the Schomberg family's time on Moa. The collection demonstrates Junius's resourcefulness and adaptability and the broader cultural life of a missionary at this time.

Object information

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