Friday 19 February 2016

Rosebank Street to Forbes Street - Numbers 201 and 199

An 1870s terrace of two, shops below, and rooms to let above. The owner, Mrs Anne Butler, lives in Parramatta and rents the buildings to Michael Donovan, a printer, and Mary and Daniel Prior, poulterers. Donovan lets a room to dress maker, Flora Martin, as well as providing rooms for three lodgers: Sarah Spears, Elizabeth Neilson, and Catherine Clarage. The Priors, now standing in the doorway, offer kosher goods. They, too, let a room to a dressmaker, Miss O'Brien, and have three lodgers.

Ann Butler, obviously keeps her investment in good repair. This building is a good example of the art of the painted surface, common practice in the Victorian period, and one which has returned to fashion one hundred years later. The bull-nose iron verandah roofs are painted in contrasting stripes - possibly cream combined with a deep Indian red. The walls are probably of a deep cream or biscuit colour. All other decorative elements - the doors, window frames, sashes, balustrades, are painted in a variety of strong, contrasting colours - possibly black-greens, fawn, rich-red, buff and bronze. The overall impression is further strengthened by detailed colour treatmens on the window capitals, pediment and masonry roundels brackets and friezes. Such paintwork adds to the character of the building and enlivens the streetscape.


Kelly includes the image above in his book. He has cropped this from the top image. Mary Prior is leaning against the plate-glass display window with its Hebrew lettering. Daniel Prior stands just a little bit further into the darkened doorway in his shirt-sleeves. Between them pushes a male customer, who uses a walking-stick.

The 1898 Sands Directory also locates a D. Prior, poulterer, at 199 William Street. So the location was not unkind to them.

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