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Federation Filigree c. 1890—c. 1915
|The start of the Federation period marked a
decline in the use of cast iron for structural and ornamental components of
verandas (see vicTORIAN FILIGREE) and a marked growth in the use of wood for
these components. The change was triggered off by developments in the
domestic architecture of Britain and, especially, America.
(see also FEDERATION QUEEN ANNE). In the United States the Stick style, the Shingle style and the American version of the Queen Anne style all made great use of timber, especially in the form of long, straight ‘sticks’ produced in vast quantities for the studs, joists and rafters of balloon frame construction. The use of steam and, later, electricity to operate tools such as the bandsaw, the jigsaw and the lathe made it possible for pieces of wood of many shapes and sizes to be made quickly, easily, relatively cheaply, and in large quantities. The change to timber occurred more rapidly in the suburbs of the big cities than it did in smaller towns and country districts, and around the turn of the century there were many instances when decorative timber and iron were used in the same building. Cast iron did in fact survive into the early twentieth century, by which time it had come to be regarded as rather old-fashioned.
Timber posts, balustrades, brackets and valances had a chunkier quality than their counterparts in cast iron, but the ‘filigree screen’ effect could still be obtained, especially when lattice made of light wooden laths was used together with the more substantial turned or sawn components.
A building type that maintained the popularity it had enjoyed in the Victorian period was the twostorey veranda’d pub, often strategically located on a street corner in a suburb or country town. Many such pubs display sufficient iron or timber screening on their verandas to qualify them for the Federation Filigree style. Tragically, the finest of them all—Buchanan’s Hotel in Townsville, Queensland—has been demolished.
It is not by chance that the finest examples of Federation Filigree domestic architecture are to be found in the hot, humid, coastal areas of Queensland. Here, the valances, balustrades and latticework which screen the verandas of so many houses are not only highly decorative but also eminently functional, providing shade while allowing for the flow of air which is so essential for comfort in this climate.
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.
|Hotel, Fremantle, W.A.|
|Image of 'Woodlands' c.1905 - 15 displaying the Federation Filigree style refurbishment of the exterior and enlargement of the house during the ownership of Andrew Johnstone Sievers. This photo was given to Mrs Philippa Poole by Mr Robert Mills.|