Collectors cabinet with drawers (16), one of a pair containing natural history specimens, wood / metal / shell / wax / paper / animal, mineral, rock and plant specimens / cotton wool, maker unknown, New South Wales, Australia, 1825-1835, used by Lieutenant Hanbury Clements and his descendants, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1830-1915
A cabinet or 'chiffonier' of solid and veneered Australian red cedar fitted with a superstructure of two shelves. The upper shelf has a low gallery and is supported on two scroll brackets with double brass stringing. While the lower shelf is supported on two tapered turned cedar columns. The cabinet has a rectangular top with crossbanded borders above two short frieze drawers with figured veneer drawer fronts, recessed brass escutcheons and brass lever locks with original keys. The frieze drawers are situated above two finely-figured panelled doors with crossbanded borders, brass escutcheons, locks and original keys. The doors conceal two columns of seven drawers each with figured, veneered fronts and turned knob handles. The cabinet is supported on a moulded base with four turned bun feet. The cabinet features a cedar carcase and fine bead mouldings throughout.
The cabinet drawers are filled with the original extensive collection of specimens brought together by Hanbury Clements on his many sea voyages, most notably those in the south Pacific region between 1824 and 1847. The two upper frieze drawers contain family documents, ephemera and medals relating to Clements and his descendants, in particular presentation medals associated with the family's agricultural pursuits and material relating to World War I. The lower 14 cabinet drawers contain neatly arranged shells, animal and bird skeletal remains, mineral and marine specimens, fossils and amber as well as notes and ephemera relating to early colonists such as 'Mr Edward Marsden Betts' calling card.