The Silver Tree

silver-tree

One of Broken Hill’s most famous pieces, the Silver Tree was once the center piece on Charles Rasp’s dining table. The hollow base is made from a single piece of metal. It is decorated with many animals and indigenous people from the area, including Dover on horse back, sheep and kangaroos.

A silver mark proves to us that the piece was made by Henry Steiner somewhere between 1879 and 1880. The Silver Tree was created for the Royal Melbourne Colonial Exhibition that took place in 1880. In 1886 the Silver tree found a new home with another silversmith known as August Brunkhorst, who put it on display at the Indian and Colonial exhibition that year. This little silver work of art was originally known as “The Boundary Rider Epergne”. August sold this piece to Charles Rasp shortly after the London exhibition. August did so in order to gain ownership of Charles’s residence “Willyama”

The Silver Tree then went on to become part of Charles’s estate and when his widow passed away, the Silver Tree was sold at an auction. The Broken Hill City Council then bought the Silver Tree from W.C Gall in 1975. The Silver Tree stayed at the Broken Hill Gallery (Regional) until it was moved to its current location. This piece still captivates people on a daily basis.