Joss Houses and Temples
Vertical carved wooden temple panel, circa 1870.Contributors
This item has been released by the collection holder to foster Victoria's cultural and creative life. If using, please attribute the creator of the work and the collecting institution.Copyright
Copyright in photograph with Gold Museum, Sovereign Hill.
This panel contains a dedication to the Christian god and was preserved when the last known Ballarat Chinese temple was destroyed in the 1960s.
Ballarat's large Chinese population was estimated at 9000 residents in 1857. A Chinese business precinct existed until the mid-20th century.
The Main Road Joss House, as it was then known, was built in the 1920s but became dilapidated and was demolished in the 1960s.
Ballarat is known to have had several earlier temples but their locations have been lost.
The text reveals that this panel was dedicated to the Christian god, making it a rare piece in the museum’s collection of mostly Daoist carvings. It is not known which temple displayed this carving. The burn mark reveals that it had been damaged in a fire.
With thanks to the Gold Museum-Sovereign Hill Collections Manager Elizabeth Marsden and Curator Snjezana Cosic.