It is clear from the metrical structure of the text that it constitutes the first or so-called upper line of a Chinese couplet.
McCrossin’s Mill Museum, Uralla
TRANSCRIPTION AND TRANSLATION
It rests upon Thy providential aid that gold is held in hand,
WHERE WAS THIS OBJECT USED?
The answer to this question is not known. The inscription contains an overt reference to or prayer for divine aid in the finding of gold, which would connect the couplet board not with tin mining (ruling out Emmaville) but a different location and the earlier gold rush. The hypothesis is thus that the board originally belonged to a gold-field temple. It is perfectly conceivable, however, that it was later relocated to a temple elsewhere.
The text is the first line of a couplet: It is clear from the metrical structure of the text that it constitutes the first or so-called upper line of a Chinese couplet (hence the comma at the end of the translation). The couplet’s second or lower line would have been carved on a matching board, the fate of which is unknown.
Location for display: Because the board bears the first line of a couplet, it would have been displayed at right, from the perspective of a viewer, while a matching board bearing the second line would have been displayed at a symmetrically opposite position at left.
Gold: The direct reference in the text to gold suggests that it relates not to a tin field but to a gold field.
This is a continually evolving website, and more information about this object will be published as further research is conducted.