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Oak armchair, 1915
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Object statement
Armchair, carved with waratahs and flannel flowers, stained oak, maker unknown, Australia, 1915
Carved with waratahs, the chair is a significant example of the use of Australian flora in early twentieth century furniture and is likely to have been made by a woodcarver associated with one of the state-based arts and crafts societies that flourished in Australia at the time. The chair will thus complement and enhance the museum's extensive specialist collection of early 20th century decorative arts incorporating Australian flora and fauna, much of which was acquired directly from regular exhibitions held by the arts and crafts societies. If the suggested provenance of the chair to Dorothea Mackellar can be corroborated the chair's significance will be considerably expanded, given Mackellar's national importance as a poet and writer on nationalistic themes.
The chair, made in 1915, is likely to have been made by an Australian woodcarver, possibly for one of the arts and crafts society exhibitions held regularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart at this time.
The chair was acquired by the donor from Gaslight Antiques, Sydney in the early 1970s. The donor recalls he was told it was previously owned by the Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968). Documentation corroborating this provenance is yet to be found.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Armchair, carved with waratahs and flannel flowers, stained oak, maker unknown, Australia, 1915

An armchair made in stained oak, with a high backrest surmounted by a shield-shaped panel carved with a spray of three waratahs, the lower backrest is carved with flannel flowers. The shaped arms are attached to curving uprights which extend down to cabriole-style legs and the square-shaped seat has a shaped front rail carved with native flora. The date '1915' is carved on the back of the back rest. This chair is thought to have once belonged to Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar.

Made: Australia; 1915
'1915' is carved on the top back of backrest.
Production date
1460 mm
580 mm
435 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Tony Strachan, 2004, in memory of Doreen Margaret Strachan (nee Dunlop) 1914-2000
+ Art Deco
+ Australian flora and fauna in applied art
+ Waratahs
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Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/344059
Cite this object in Wikipedia
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/344059 |title=Oak armchair |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=28 January 2015 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}

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