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AN IMPORTANT 19th CENTURY RED GUM GOTHIC BOOKCASE

 

AUCTION MONDAY 27th NOVEMBER AT 6PM

 

This bookcase is possibly a unique example of the use of River Red Gum timber in the manufacture of Australian Colonial furniture.

 

Constructed from solid Australian River Red Gum “Eucalyptus Camaldulensis” this early 19th century breakfront bookcase is in the English “Regency Gothic” style, fashionable in the 1830's & 40's.

 

A similar design appears in J C Loudon's, 1833 London edition of his “Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm & Villa Architecture & Furniture”.

 

Construction most likely took place during the acrimonious governorships of Lt. Colonel, Sir George Gawler & Captain George Grey, 1838-1845. A significant period in the development of Parliamentary & Local Government in South Australia.

 

Provenance

Part of a domestic estate from the Adelaide Coastal Suburb of Semaphore, Glanville, three generations by descent.

 

Condition Report

 

  • Exceptional for its age and size

  • No signs of restoration, any obvious damage or repair

  • Retains original glass, hardware and patina

  • However the terminals of the four trefoil column clusters, to the upper section appear to lack the necessary crocketed pinnacles that the design would suggest. Also, the large gap in the crenelated pediment would suggest an intended armorial or crest. ie. Vice Regal, Parliamentary or Corporate.

 

Dimensions

Height: 310cm

Width: 244cm

Depth: 73cm


The South Australian Register”, Newspaper-Saturday the 28th October 1843

 

The furniture of the Legislative Council Chamber, which is much admired, is all, we believe, of native timber, and manufactured in the colony. The chairs, which have only lately been finished, are formed of the black-wood (which is the finest of the colonial woods), and look particularly beautiful. We are not aware who is the maker, but we may add that they do him very great credit.

- A southern Australian