Stained Glass Window

Ferguson & Urie1872

Museums Victoria

Museums Victoria

Around 1872, James Fergusson moved into his new home, Glenferrie, in Malvern, then on the eastern edge of Melbourne. It was a fine two-storey brick mansion with 14 rooms and extensive grounds. Fergusson was general manager of Fergusson ; Mitchell, one of the leading printing firms and manufacturing stationers in the Colony of Victoria, and he had recently been elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly. Fergusson commissioned a large, stained-glass stairwell window for his new home, almost certainly from the Melbourne firm Ferguson ; Urie; several similar examples of the company's work from the 1860s to 1880s survive in Melbourne churches and mansions. The images in the window reflect the commercial wealth and confidence of a generation of immigrants that had come to the young colony and made its fortune through agriculture, mining, manufacturing and trade. Painted glass panels depict shipping, railways, farming, mining, commerce and, personally significant to Fergusson, printing. The window is also a symbol of the colony's pride and its continuing attachment to Britain. At the top of the window, a kangaroo and an emu stand on either side of the Australian colonial coat-of-arms. Pride of place in the middle of the window is given to the Fergusson Blazon of Arms, with three boars' heads and a buckle. The thistle, rose and shamrock (symbols respectively of Scotland, England and Ireland) are repeated throughout the background. After James Fergusson's death in 1888, Glenferrie passed through several owners, until it was eventually demolished in 1954. A local resident apparently purchased the window and built it into their modern home in the 1970s. When new owners undertook extensive renovations in 2001, they donated the window to the museum.

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  • Title: Stained Glass Window
  • Date Created: 1872
  • Physical Dimensions: w3340 x h1910 x d1850 mm
  • Type: Object
  • Rights: Copyright in image Museum Victoria, Source: Museum Victoria, Photographer: Ruth Leveson, Copyright Museum Victoria: Source: Museum Victoria / Photographer: Benjamin Healley
  • External Link: Museum Victoria Collections
  • Medium: Glass
  • Themes: architectural feature; stained glass windows
  • Artist biography: Ferguson & Urie was founded in 1853 by Scottish migrants James Ferguson, David Ferguson and James Urie. David Ferguson left the business in 1857. Initially established as 'Plumbers, Glaziers and Decorators', by the late 1850s the company was concentrating solely on glazing, leadlights and stained glass windows, undertaking commissions for churches, public buildings and private mansions across Victoria. The company exhibited its wares at the 1854 and 1861 Victorian Exhibitions, and was awarded First Prize at the 1875 Intercolonial Exhibition held in Melbourne. The death of the two partners in the early 1890s--Urie in 1890 and Ferguson in 1894--effectively led to the company's demise. Their sons continued trading for another five years, but in 1899 sold the company's entire stock in trade and advertised the company's premises for rent.
  • Artist: Ferguson & Urie