Fire-damaged ceramic house number. This ceramic house number was attached to a tree at the entrance to 71 Kings Road, Marysville, owned by Peter and Merran Guest. They purchased it in the town of Greve in Chianti, Italy in 2003 during their honeymoon. It had great sentimental meaning to them both.

Peter and Merran had gone to Melbourne on 7 February 2009 to attend a lunch with friends. When they returned, the house number was one of the few recognizable items left at the property which, like so much of Marysvillle, was totally destroyed in the Kilmore East-Murrindindi Bushfire on Black Saturday, 2009.

Physical Description

White ceramic tile with hand-pained blue and yellow decoration, broken into seven pieces. The '7' is in two pieces and the '1' is intact. A border decorated with floral emblems has broken into four pieces. There is evidence of fire damage to the rear and edges of the pieces with remains of bark and organic matter adhered to the reverse, where it was attached to a tree.


This object is a small but eloquent reminder of the loss of personal mementoes and objects with special meaning in the 2009 fires. For most people, the objects that were most mourned were not the ones with the greatest monetary value but those with the greatest personal significance: photographs, souvenirs and small family items.

It is also an observation on the random nature of the fire's devastation. It was not unusual, on the streets of Marysville after the fires, to see gates, signs or mailboxes that were still largely intact, while the home or business they had once belonged to had been completely destroyed.

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