Portland Guardian (Vic.)
Date: September 2, 1889
Page Number: 2
The Sydney Echo writes:-- "Having lost touch of the 'marble man' we are now confronted with a supposed petrified woman. Whether or not there is any relationship between the two figures, certain it is that the owners of the later arrival upon the scene claim to have discovered it, or her, only about 10ft from where they met with the alleged 'petrified man.' The present owners of the 'petrified woman' are a man named William Brydon and a lad named Edward Sala, son of Mr. G. H. Sala, manager of the quarry near Caleula, Mullen's Creek, Orange, which has yielded such extraordinary products. The subject of our notice only arrived in Sydney yesterday morning, and in the course of the afternoon we took an opportunity of wending our way down to a house in Castlereagh street south to inspect it. Stepping into the passage under the shadow of the hardly applicable sign, 'Mangling done Here,' we were shown into a small-sized room, in the centre of which, elevated from the ground, was a box of primitive construction, measuring about 11 & half feet by 18in. x 18in. Reposing on this receptacle, on a bed of red-hued sawdust, lay the exhibit we were in search of. Looking at the anatomy of the subject, we observed that the left foot of the figure had only three toes, but the view presented by this attenuation was such as would be expected in an adult who had suffered from a malformation from birth. This brings us to the possible period of life that may have been passed by the petrification, if such it be. From the stature and proportions it is regarded by some that an age of sixteen or seventeen years is about as near as it is possible to gauge it. There is certainly reason in the sup- position, but there is still much room for doubt. The height is about 5ft., and the build spare; while, as to features, very little can be said, the front part of the face being flattened. There are noticeable, however, slight indentations indicating the locality of the eyes and mouth. The ears stand out well from the side of the head. As to the attitude of the figure, which lies on the back, both arms are stretched down by the sides of the body, the right hand being open, and the left clenched. The knees are drawn up considerably. Whereas the right leg is singularly perfect in shape, the other one, and also the trunk, are not in such good condition. In fact, from the rough and jagged surface of the greater part of the body it is hinted that the original, assuming that the exhibit is really a petrifaction, may have been a leper, and that partial decay may have set in before a change to stone took place. The colour of the figure is magenta, but the surface is largely covered with lime. Whether the 'petrified woman' is to pass through a series of adverse circumstances such as her immediate predecessor has experienced, remains to be seen."
The Petrified Man.
IN THE BANKRUPT COURT.
ACCOUNT OF ITS DISCOVERY.
MARBLE V. PETRIFACATION.
Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW)
Date: September 21, 1889
Page Number: 2
Yesterday the case in bankruptcy of Guisseppe P. Sala, of Cow Flat, was brought before the District Registrar, Mr, W. G. S. Smith, it being a special meeting for the examination of bankrupt and witnesses. Bankrupt's schedule showed that his liabilities amounted to £949 10s., being made up of unsecured creditors, £254 ; preferential claim, £20; fully secured, £300, and partly secured, £375 10s. His assets consisted of good debts, £60 wearing apparel, £2 10s., and interest in quarry, £20, total, £82 10s, leaving a deficiency of £867. Bankrupt, was in attendance during the morning, but two cases occupied the court until 1 o'clock when an adjournment took place. Before leaving the court he told the Registrar that he was too ill to attend again, and, in proof of this, produced a certificate signed by Mr. Bennie, M.D., which stated that Sala was suffering from a severe cold which affected his voice and hearing to such an extent that he could not I attend the court for the purpose of examination. The certificate was written on a piece of paper, very dirty, and which had been torn from an account book. At 2 o'clock the court resumed but bankrupt did not appear. Word was brought to the court that Sala had gone to bed at the hotel after leaving the court, and would not be able, to attend. The Registrar then determined to go on with the case by receiving evidence from witnesses present. Mr. Webb, who appeared for creditors, said that the object in linking this special hearing was to identify the ''Marble Man" with Sala, and to show that the creditors were entitled to the proceeds of the sale of this man.
— Mr. Mclnlosh appeared for the official assignee. Alfred James Hammond, laborer of Cow Flat, deposed, that in the early part of the year he was working for Sala, at Mr. Joseph Bell's marble quarry ; remembers Bell taking a block of marble for Sala to the houise where he was living— an old public-house at Cow Flat ; at the same time a cask of plaster of Paris was sent, with the marble ; a tarpaulin was thrown over the marble : it was a fine day ; did not see the block again for six weeks ; it was then in the old kitchen of the public-house ; the door leading into the first outside door and the window of the same room were built up with bricks ; this was done after Sala went to live there, and prevented any one seeing into the room ; when I again saw the marble it was on blocks, and when I first saw it I thought it was a woman ; I went home and told my wife Sala was making a woman to sleep with him ; this room was lighted by a sheet of iron being lifted from the roof ; as I went towards the house Sala's boy was at the stable ; he whistled and his father came to the door ; he then shut it ; but I had seen the marble figure before this ; Sala said nothing to me about it then, but shortly afterwards he asked me to take a box in which machinery was stored from Bell's to the public-house ; he asked me to cut this box down and make it shorter ; I did this, and soon after I saw the figure in a box ; Sala was stuffing a piece of old trousers into the side of the box ; could identify the figure again ; while Sala was living there I used to hear work going on all day, and sometimes in the night ; it sounded like chiselling work ; on the night I saw the figure he said to me, "I want you to help me with what you saw to-day ; don't you let on to anyone and I will make you a rich man ;" he also said he had a lump of gold he wanted me to help him with ; "I was thinking of planting it in Mr. Bell's cave," he said, "but I have altered my mind, and think I will plant it in a well in Harry Cook's paddock, and asked if I thought that would be suitable; I told him, he could please himself about that ; he again altered his mind and said he wanted a spring; I showed him one at his request, in my father's paddock and he said it would be suitable ; he then said he wanted me to commence work on Monday morning ; this was on Sunday and he said he was going to Bathurst but would be back next morning in time for me to go to work ; he authorised me to hire two more men to work with me ; he told me I was to sink a well nine feet in diameter until I got within about 4 inches of water in the bottom ; we were then to leave it for two days, and while he and the two men were away I was to hide the lump of gold ; when the two men came the next day I was to be in the hole and find the gold and send it up ; some chinamen were working in the paddock and he wanted to know what about them not leaving ; when I found the gold Sala was to be in Rockley ; I was to stop work and go to Rockley for him, when he came back we were to travel round the country exhibiting the nugget; my wife was to act as doorkeeper and his son sell tickets ; he offered me £500 or a fair share of profits ; he said we will travel all over the world with it and when they had travelled over the world we would turn round and tell the people they were all— fools as the nugget had come out of Bell's quarry ; he told me he could sculpture anything ; I saw him making some scagnola : he made no secret of this ; he was not back on the Monday as proposed, and I went to work ; on Tuesday he met me when I was on my road to the quarry ; he said, 'Go back and work in the other place ;' I returned home, but my wife advised me to go to the quarry and have nothing more to do with Sala ; I went to my work at the quarry ; he sent for me three times, but I refused to go ; he cleared off by the mail coach that night; about a week or a fortnight after he returned to the old public house ; he had a horse and a van ; it was on Saturday evening ; I did not see him, but heard him inside ; he once told me that he had been a sculptor in Italy and his eldest son 'split' on him ; have seen a photograph of the 'marble man ;' it resembles the figure I saw; he had some chemicals there ; he once threw some marble into some and it dissolved; have seen the place since ; the chips of the block have been planted, and the place is well cleaned up; saw a marble bowl he made and gave to Bell ; the block of marble was very large ; when he referred to the lump of gold I know he meant the marble man.
To Mr. McIntosh: The machinery is still at the quarry as it was when we were working there ; Mr Bell is quarrying for him, but no marble cutting is going on. John Clement Souter, medical practitioner, residing at Orange, deposed : I know Mr. Sala, and became acquainted with him in May; he then showed me what he called a petrified man, at Small's Hotel, Orange ; the figure, was in the coach house and I only saw it by the light of a single candle ; I was only allowed to see it for a moment for fear others would see it; then went into the hotel with Sala, who told me he had discovered it in a quarry at Caleula, and wanted my opinion about it ; he declared that he had found it in a quarry in a part which had been undisturbed ; in the course of conversation he said that if I could put him in the proper way of examining it as a natural phenomenon and petrifaction, I should have a share of the proceeds; I told him I would willingly accept his offer, providing all was genuine, inasmuch as I considered it would result in a return of thousands of pounds ; be then asked me to have it at my own place, for fear too many would see it ; it was taken to my place and Sala had the photograph taken ; I examined it carefully, and was not long in coming to the conclusion that it was not the work of nature, but had been made by tools ; at his request I went to see the quarry where he said it was taken from, but I told him that it would be impossible for such a thing coming from there ; no evidence of a large block had been taken away, and there was nothing to show evidence of fossilised matter ; he explained that they came across the body while removing a large boulder of marble ; when they first saw the body he sent the strangers away and he and his son took the boulder out ; the ground was not of the nature to fossilise matter ; Sala broke off some of the marble of the man he exhibited ; I produced that, together with some from Bell's quarry, Cow Flat, and Caloola ; no fossil could be produced from the quarry, and there can be no such thing as marble fossil ; my report was adverse to Sala; he told me he had a fossil woman and child, and if he succeeded with the man he would exhibit these ; a man named Dupond told me he had seen this figure ; he told me Brydon was his partner, but he did not appear to wish him to have too much to do with it ; Sala has told me that he has sold the marble man and got £1,000 for it ; I never entertained his offer after my examination ; when I first saw the figure it was clear, but when I saw it on exhibition it had the appearance of being washed over with some solution of clay. William Andrew Quilfoyle, Public School teacher at Cow Flat, deposed that he used to act as Sala's amanuensis ; he wanted a hundred weight of nitric and sulphuric acid ; this came to grief at Perth as it exploded, and a second lot was sent ; he told me these acids would erase chisel marks ; saw the block of marble which was at the public-house about a week before Sala left ; it was in a room which he kept locked ; he had a sheet of iron off the roof, and this being raised, I stood on an iron drum and looked into the room when I saw the figure roughly made ; he told me once that he was making marble figures; saw him making a bowl ; he frequently spoke to me about his ability as a sculptor ; he once said he would give his son credit for telling an intelligent lie, but he was a fool for telling one when there was no occasion for it ; his son is about 12 years of age and was a cute lad ; whenever I went near the place his son would whistle to give his father warning ; when his father came out he usually had chips of marble about his trousers ; saw a box at the quarry and afterwards at the old public house; he once said he would make £1000 out of Cow Flat, and no man would ever know how he did it. Mr. Webb said he had no other witness to call. Mr. Mclntosh said he had been instructed by the Official Assignee to examine the bankrupt, but he could not do so as he had not put in an appearance. He asked what the Registrar intended to do.' Mr. Webb asked the Registrar to put in force the power given him under the 28th Section of the Act. This was the second meeting at which Sala had not appeared. On the first occasion he sent a letter to the Official Assignee stating that he was too unwell to attend. On the present occasion his expenses had been paid and he had been about the court all the morning, and while about was well enough to talk with people whom he met. He was then apparently well able to hear anything and should have been in attendance this afternoon. Mr. Smith said that when Sala showed him the certificate he told him that he would be accommodated with a seat and the examiner would go close to him. He said no other alternative but to adjourn the hearing sine die. The hearing was therefore adjourned.
The Marble Man part 11