Collections

The SA Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the SA Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum’s collection ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss to eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.

Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world..

Upright Piano

This upright piano with candle holders and an elaborate wooden inlay was used on board the vessel SS Quorna of the Adelaide Steamship Company on their famous Gulf Trips between 1913 and 1947.

The Gulf Trip was a fixture of South Australian tourism during the first half of the twentieth century.

Description: This upright piano with candle holders and an elaborate wooden inlay was used on board the vessel SS Quorna of the Adelaide Steamship Company on their famous Gulf Trips between 1913 and 1947.

Creator: Monington and Weston, London

Materials: wood, ivory, metal, brass, plastic 

 

Caption: Piano , M V Quorna

AccessionNo: HT86396(m)

Depth: 640

Width: 1425

Height: 1300

Material: Wood, ivory, metal, plastic, brass

Physical Description:
Upright piano with candle holders and an elaborate inlaid flower pattern wooden inlay.

Significance:
The piano is an example of fittings from the Gulf Trip vessels. It hints at the flavour of the voyages, famous as a relaxing, affordable cruise full of gaiety and social interaction. The piano is evocative of an era when entertainment was often simple, shared and live. It is illustrative of the communal social and entertainment aspects of the South Australian Gulf Trips. The piano presents a view of South Australia and Port Adelaide's shipping history that is not solely linked with trade, industry, mariners and waterside workers.

Provenance:
This piano was used on board the vessel SS ‘Quorna’ of the Adelaide Steamship Company on their famous Gulf Trips between 1913 and 1947. The Gulf Trip was a fixture of South Australian tourism during the first half of the twentieth century and carried generations of honeymooners, holiday makers and tourists around the Spencer Gulf over 6 days for only £6.