Mass of slumped glass found in the ashes of Viewfield, a house in Mt. Macedon owned by John and Zelma Gartner, after the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. It was originally a small crystal vase, part of the furnishings of a classic Mt Macedon home and garden. The small community of Mt Macedon, northwest of Melbourne, was engulfed by bushfire on the night of 16 February, when a late wind change directed the fire from East Trentham up onto the mountain. 7 people died and 628 buildings were destroyed in East Trentham and Mt Macedon. John and Zelma Gartner survived the fire by taking refuge in their swimming pool while their house burned around them. The house and its contents were completely destroyed.

Physical Description

Slumped glass, originally clear with soot embedded in surface, roughly resembling a misshapen icicle.


The Ash Wednesday bushfires of February 1983 were one of Australia's greatest natural disasters, as 'holocaust fires' swept through Victoria and South Australia. In the space of a single day in Victoria, 47 people were killed and nearly 3000 homes and other buildings destroyed. This object, along with others from the same house, demonstrates the severity and extent of the fire in Mt Macedon. It is an eloquent symbol of the destruction of the specific property in which it was found, but it also represents the universal power of fire to irrevocably change objects, homes and lives.

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