Rosenstengel Furniture

Posted: April 27, 2012 by Michael.

Ed Rosenstengel is recognized as one of Queensland's most important furniture makers, operating from his New Farm workshop between 1922 and 1957.  During this time he produced a wide range of items all reflecting his love and understanding of decorative arts combined with Queensland timbers.

We are proud to offer for sale a large collection of 48 Rosenstengel pieces including lovely occasional items, display cabinets, clocks and furniture for every room in the house.  Some of the exceptional pieces include a chest of drawers inset with Wedgwood plaque and an ingenious all-in-one "revolving bookcase/wine table/lamp stand".

There are several items that have been well documented as being personal items from Ed's own home, including his finely carved bergere armchair and an occasional table displaying the finest in carving and inset with opals.

Lovers of Brisbane furniture should not miss this opportunity to view these items which have been held by Rosenstengel's relatives and never before offered for public sale.

Some highlights -     

Bookcase Pairs

Posted: November 12, 2011 by Vanessa.

Michael always loves bookcases and is constantly on the lookout for quality examples. 

Recently he was delighted to find this amazing matched PAIR of walnut bookcases with Georgian styled glazing bars, blind fretted frieze, caddy tops and splayed bracket feet.  These stunningly decorative and supremely useful antiques, circa 1900, are ready to go to the workshop for minor adjustments, cleaning and waxing.

In addition, we have just unearthed a nice PAIR of Globe Wernicke patent barristers bookcases, probably the best examples that we’ve had for a while.  All in all, a couple of great finds!

Vintage Lloyd Loom

Posted: October 7, 2011 by Vanessa.

Included in our latest shipment is a large group of vintage Lloyd Loom armchairs.  These comfortable chairs are great on verandahs and covered decks.

(I love this original 1930's Hotel interior)

While giving the appearance of wicker, the chairs are actually made of twisted fibre and wire woven over a steam bent beach frame making them light but durable.

Welcome, Baby Lucinda

Posted: May 12, 2011 by Vanessa.

The past few weeks have passed in a delightful blur as Michael and I have welcomed our daughter, Lucinda Rose Allen, to the world.

Lucie was born at the Mater Hospital on the 15th of April.  Needless to say, we are both besotted and are looking forward to watching her life unfold.

We are grateful for the support and kind thoughts that we have received from our friends, neighbours and customers during this exciting time.


Antique Fair 2011

Posted: May 12, 2011 by Vanessa.

Once again we will be exhibiting at the Queensland Antique Dealers Association fair that will be held at the RNA Showgrounds.  The fair commences with a special preview evening on Thursday the 26 May and continues daily from the 27 – 29 May.

We have been working overtime in the workshop cleaning, waxing and polishing some lovely furniture items that we have been putting aside over the past few months for unveiling at the fair.

We look forward to catching up with our customers at the fair.

New Neighbour

Posted: January 21, 2011 by Vanessa.

We are pleased to welcome a new neighbour at 989 Stanley Street East.  Egg Bistro opened just a couple of weeks ago and has already gathered a devoted following of food lovers and coffee addicts.

Egg Bistro is open 6 days a week for breakfast and lunch (closed Tuesday) and it comprises an indoor seating area and a covered courtyard. It is a great place to grab a coffee but is equally suited to a relaxing lunch.

When you next visit our shop be sure to set aside some time to check it out!

Ready For The Fair

Posted: May 16, 2010 by Vanessa.

Some of our favourite antiques are early English oak and elm country tables.  This interesting oak gateleg table has barley twist legs and a small end drawer.  It is just perfect beside a louge or in the corner of the room with a lamp.

Also on display we will have two fine extension tables, a lovely dumbwaiter, an imposing partners desk and lots of other quality furniture.

QADA Antiques Fair 2010

Posted: May 1, 2010 by Vanessa.

The Queensland Antiques Dealers Association is a long established organisation committed to promoting the judicious collecting of antiques.  Each year, for forty years, the association has held an annual Antiques Fair where some of the finest and most interesting antiques are presented for display and sale.

The 2010 fair will open on Thursday evening, the 20th of May, with a special preview and continue on Friday the 21st, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of May.  The fair is held at the RNA Showgrounds on Gregory Terrace.

We are currently working hard to prepare our usual display of quality furniture, silver and decorative items for sale.  If you visit the fair, please stop by our stand and say "hello".

Antiques Are Green

Posted: March 15, 2010 by Vanessa.

It makes perfect sense for us all to consume less and recycle more.  An entertaining and interesting way to do this is to collect antiques for your home.  Antiques were made mostly by hand before the use of machines or even electricity and are finished in environmentally sound finishes such shellac and wax.  A wisely chosen antique will resist constant changes in fashion and last your whole life.  Should it not be to the taste of the next generation, it can usually be resold (often at a profit).  It is tragic that so much of the new furniture sold in Australia is made from the irreplaceable rainforests of Asia when the furniture itself will only last a few years.  Check the link for more information on the “Antiques Are Green” movement.

Antique Box Collecting

Posted: March 7, 2010 by Vanessa.

Last weekend we purchased a lovely Georgian tea caddy. This new acquisition got me thinking about what my “dream collection’ of boxes might include.  One thought was that the collection should include examples from different periods of history. Another idea was that it would be interesting to collect different examples of the same kind of box.  Chippendale’s  “Gentleman’s &Cabinet Maker’s Director” of 1762 had six different patterns for tea caddies and these must be a least a hundred variations of this type of  box alone.  Other ideas included collecting boxes of all the same material or all the same size. However the problem was approached,  the outcome would be the same - a handsome, interesting and useful collection!


Simple Decorating Advice

Posted: February 28, 2010 by Vanessa.

Millicent Fenwick, associate editor of Vogue, gave the following advice on decoration in the 1948 edition of “Vogues Book of Etiquette”.

“When good articles on decorating urge the abolition of junk, they don’t mean, “throw away that Victorian table; this is a French room”.  They mean “throw away those tables and chairs made without integrity and honesty, those pretentious and badly made objects that make the room look as though it were trying to seem more valuable and more beautiful than it is.”

We are now moving into our newly renovated house and I'm certainly going to be bearing her advice in mind!

Great New Supplier

Posted: August 29, 2009 by Vanessa.

One of the lovely things about antiques is the great effort that was taken with small aspects such as the handles and keys.  As often as possible, we source items with these elements intact but it is inevitable that great pieces will come along that have issues in these vulnerable areas.

Consequently, we are very excited to have discovered a family of English keymakers (who have been in business since the late 1800's) who can supply functional and beautiful keys suitable for antique furniture.

We are really looking forward to cutting and fitting these great keys to our stock.


Might keep these for a while?

Posted: June 28, 2009 by Vanessa.

Antique lovers who also have a shop to keep stocked have to strike a balance between the desire to collect and the need to pass lovely things on to the customers.

For the last few years, we have found it easier  to sell due to the fact that our house needed extensive refurbishment and there wasn't really room for many things.

After lots of work our house is up to the finishing touches stage and I'm sure there is a spot in there some-where for this amazing carved Limewood Newell Post top and polychrome and gilded Putti!

Inevitably, some other lovely thing will come along and these will be sold but I will enjoy having them around for the time being.

Interesting Exhibition

Posted: March 27, 2009 by Vanessa.

Lovers of vernacular furniture will enjoy the new exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.  The exhibition, which opened yesterday, explores the use of Silky Oak in furniture making and also in domestic and commercial architecture.

The curator, Frank McBride, has scoured the collections of Brisbane to present a particularly notable selection of  Silky Oak furniture.  We are proud to have one of our pieces, an amazing hallstand, carved by Margaret Quinlan in Toowoomba in 1907, included in the display.

The exhibition runs at the Museum of Brisbane (located within the City Hall) until the 12th of July.  It is open between 10am and 5pm each day and entry is free.

Chinese Gaming Counters

Posted: February 14, 2009 by Vanessa.

These Chinese Mother of Pearl gaming counters were introduced to England by the captains of the East India Trading Company.  They immediately caused a sensation, with the wealthy paying small small fortunes to secure a set.  They remained popular until about 1840 when new card games such as whist (which did not require counters) began to replace quadrille and Pope Joan.

We recently obtained a small collection of counters in many different shapes and designs including a couple of the rarest kind, those with a family coat of arms.

In the day, procuring these special counters was difficult. A servant carrying a copy of the desired crest would be dispatched to London to make contact with a sea captain who would then take the order to Canton and commission counters from the local craftsmen.  A year later the order would be collected and transported to the waiting customer.

Christmas Wishes

Posted: December 14, 2008 by Vanessa.

With Christmas fast approaching and the year drawing to a close we would like to thank all our customers and friends who have helped make this year such a success and wish every-one a merry Christmas.  For those who haven’t yet finished their Christmas shopping we will be open right up until Christmas Eve and have a great range of furniture and decorative items available. 

This year, why not surprise your loved ones with something that will be enjoyed for years to come?


New Stock Just Arrived

Posted: December 12, 2008 by Vanessa.

The last of our three shipments of new stock has arrived and we have been busy with sales and preparing items for display.  The latest shipment contained a great range of quality “evergreen” antiques that have maintained their usefulness and decorative appeal throughout the ever-changing cycles of fickle fashion. 

Some of the stand-out items include a selection of 5 longcase clocks, a Georgian oak dresser, a decorative 1820’s Dutch marquetry vitrine, a selection of bookcases and a beautiful English Georgian chest-on-chest.  If you are looking for quality pieces at reasonable prices why not stop by for a look?

Another New Arrival

Posted: October 19, 2008 by Vanessa.

Congratulations to our neighbours, Chris and Jen, from the Cottage Garden Cafe on the arrival of their son Patrick last week-end.

Chris and Jen have taken some time off to introduce Patrick to his big sister Evie but the cafe has been running like clockwork thanks to the great staff.

The Cottage Garden Cafe is just next door to our shop and is a great place for breakfast, lunch or a quick coffee.  The cafe is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8am until 3pm.


New Arrival (from Egypt)

Posted: October 19, 2008 by Vanessa.

Earlier this week our latest shipment from Egypt arrived after its long trip.  We have been busy all week unpacking the container and have just started to display some of the items in our shop.

Included in the shipment are a great range of French Colonial entrance doors, wrought iron fences and gates and some small furniture items which were all personally selected by Michael when he was in Egypt in August.

Verandah Furniture

Posted: October 12, 2008 by Vanessa.

With the weather warming up, now is the time to prepare for those lazy weekend days relaxing on the verandah, drinks with friends on the deck and summer barbeques.  We have a good range of verandah furniture in stock at the moment including an amazing split cane daybed, a pair of split cane chairs, a pair of wrought iron tables with marble tops and some Victorian cast iron tables.  Why not stop by for a look?


New Stock

Posted: August 18, 2008 by Vanessa.

Michael and I love sourcing new stock but having vowed to clear the backlog from our storerooms and with buying trips to Egypt and the UK imminent we have been trying to direct our attentions to the other aspects of running an antique shop. 

However, we have had some fantastic calls in the last couple of weeks and have come up with some real treasures including a Breton Lit Clos (similar pictured).  These enclosed beds date from the early 1800’s and were used in rural areas.  We also purchased a stunning hallstand from the same owner who spent many years living in France.

The Lit Clos is now SOLD

Discovered an Interesting Shop

Posted: August 8, 2008 by Vanessa.

We will soon be doing some painting so I was very interested when one of our customers recommended a great paint shop.  Michael and I paid Dennis a visit last week.  After a few frustrating years of trying to get the right colour and some helpful advice at the likes of Bunnings, talking to Dennis was a revelation.  He really loves paint and  is more than happy to share his knowledge (and paint samples).   If you need paint I'd recommend a visit, Cannon Hill Paint Place, 1/856 Wynnum Road, Cannon Hill .


2008 QADA Antiques Fair

Posted: May 4, 2008 by Vanessa.

Michael and I always look forward to the Queensland Antique Dealers Association annual Antiques Fair which is held each May. 

We are currently busy cleaning, waxing, polishing, researching, writing price tags and searching out those last few elusive items which will hopefully allow us to display one of our most interesting and eclectic offerings ever.

Pictured is just a small sample of the items that we will be on our stand.

Preview Night Tickets

Now Available

Posted: May 2, 2008 by Vanessa.

We are now selling opening night tickets for the Queensland Antique Dealers Association Fair.  The tickets are limited in number and allow entry to the preview night of the fair.  As well as a first chance to view and buy form the huge range of items, the opening night is a great opportunity to meet up with fellow collectors and friends.

The entry price of $25 includes finger food with wine, beer and soft drinks also available for just $2 per glass.  The opening night is on the 22nd of May (Thursday Night).

 Drop by our shop now to buy your tickets or give us a call and pay with your credit card and we'll post them to you. If you aren't able to make it on opening night the fair continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with entry just $10 at the door. 

This year’s fair is held in support of the Queensland Women’s Historical Association to aid the upkeep of Meigunya.


Easter wishes to all!

Posted: March 20, 2008 by Vanessa.

We will be taking a little time out on Good Friday and Easter Sunday to regroup after a frantic start to the year and will not be open.  On Saturday and Monday we will be open all day from 10am until 5pm.  If you are at a loose end why not pay us a visit?

We have had lots of unrestored local furniture come in this week, which is all very reasonably priced.  Also worth a look is a fantastic William IV mahogany sideboard that is almost 8 feet long and great quality – it's one of the best we've seen for a long while.  After the holiday it will be business as usual with an exciting shipment of hand-selected antiques from the UK arriving within 2 weeks.

Carter’s Price Guide Now in Stock

Posted: March 10, 2008 by Vanessa.

Each year the Carter’s team travel Australia taking pictures of stock in antique shops and compiling them into this great hardcover book.

It contains thousands of pictures and concise descriptions of age, timber, price etc.  The Carters Price Guide is an easy read and is a great way to learn more about antiques and collectables without having to wade through a weighty tome.

It is also a useful tool for decorators to identify the types of items that are available and for collectors to gain an indication of the value of their items.  We now have a limited number of these great books in stock at the special price of $90  (recommended retail is $125). 

These are all now SOLD


Back to the UK

Posted: January 30, 2008 by Michael.

Unusually for shopkeepers neither Vanessa or I consider that we are particularly talented in the “selling” department.  While there is nothing that we love more than meeting some-one interesting and having a discussion about antiques, we tend to rely on presenting the right items and pricing them as reasonably as we can and then hoping for the best.

This strategy seems to work pretty well for us particularly as it allows us to ......................... read more

New Shipment Unpacked

Posted: January 20, 2008 by Vanessa.

It's been another busy week with the arrival of our latest container.  Michael loves furniture, and when he did the buying in the UK last November that was clearly his focus.  Included are a couple of very fine examples of early oak, a splendid victorian desk, some practical large robes and presses as well as lots of great decorative pieces. Combined with the interesting things that arrived at Christmas from Egypt the shop is now packed full!


Couture at Michael Allen Antiques

Posted: November 26, 2007 by Vanessa.

 While you don't usually find vintage clothes in our shop, a wardrobe of 34 items of 1950-60’s couture clothes from noted English designers Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell is a fantastic exception.

Both designers held the Royal Warrant and Norman Hartnell is famous for making the Queens wedding dress.  Hardy Amies dressed the Queen, the Queen Mother, Vivian Leigh and other social luminaries.

I really loved hearing from Michael about his visit to the Golden Age of Couture Exhibition at  the Victoria and Albert Museum in London but here is a unique opportunity to actually buy some of this fabulous fashion which is still very wearable today.

UK buying trip - November 2007

Posted: November 12, 2007 by Michael from the UK

Here I am in the UK again after a quite unexpected overnight decision. I have just returned from Egypt and still waiting for my shipment to arrive but after recent good sales I'm desperately short of stock . So here I am again, however this trip is short and sweet.

I'm doing a bit of selective buying for a few clients and also looking for a couple of dozen interesting pieces for the shop.

It's going well to date as I've found some good stock and I should be back home soon.  Here is my favourite


Egypt buying trip

Posted: October 19, 2007 by Michael from Egypt.

As a few of you know, I'm in Egypt buying some 19th century French Colonial Architectural Salvage.

The buying trip has gone well and my container was packed yesterday with about 25 large entrance doors and some iron gates and fencing.

Although these huge 3+m tall doors won’t suit everyone, they are wonderful and I couldn't resist a trip to buy them. They are certainly a valuable addition to any new building work and can be incorporated into the old colonial home.

The doors are very well priced and individual sets will sell from just $750 to $2800 each when the container arrives in six weeks or so.

I have two days left here and will spend some time, with my friend Mostafa, exploring the many antique shops and bazaars in the old part of the city. It's been great fun and I look forward to returning to Egypt soon.

A brief history of the French in Egypt

New stock - Grace Seccombe

Posted: October 6, 2007 by Michael.

Grace Seccombe is one of the best known and most loved Australian potters.  She was originally born in Staffordshire England in 1902 where both her parents were involved in the pottery industry.  As a young woman she trained at the Wedgwood Institute and, after moving to New South Wales with her family, the Sydney Technical College.  After marrying her architect husband in 1908 she had no involvement in the production of pottery for 20 years.  However, after a holiday in England where she saw a showcase of English birds in pottery she returned to Australia and began to produce her much loved figures of Australian birds and animals.

These bookends, which have just come into stock, are a great example of Grace Seccombe’s work.

This item is now SOLD


Leather bound books

Posted: October 5, 2007 by Vanessa.

A display of old books looks interesting, particularly if you have an old bookcase or perhaps on a shelf with a great pair of bookends or an antique bookslide.

We have been lucky enough to purchase a large collection of books gathered over a lifetime by a scholarly couple with a love of history, anthropology and art.  We will be preparing these for sale over the next few months.

Also included in the collection are a number of fine leather bound books.  Some of the most attractive leather bound books are now available for purchase.  As well as being great reading and interesting decorative items, leather bound books always make impressive gifts.

In the workshop ...,

Posted: September 15, 2007 by Vanessa.

While Michael was in England earlier in the year he discovered this exotic lacquer sewing table. These were made in China in the 1830-1850’s and transported to England by traders such as the East India Company to satisfy the English craze for Chinoiserie. Jane Austin had a similar box, hers a smaller table-top box.

These tables are rare in themselves but more amazing is the fact that this one is a veritable treasure trove of original Cantonese carved ivory tools ....... read more

                                                                                    see more

Photographed in the UK with contents removed.

This item is now SOLD


We welcome our new neighbour

- Diana Toscano

Posted: September 1, 2007 by Michael.

Those who have been to our shop will remember the old wooden shed next door. Inevitable progress in the neighbourhood led to the shed site being developed into an attractive new two story building housing two separate businesses. Diana Toscano occupies the downstairs showroom.  Diana is a young, but already well established, bridal and evening gown designer who is a most welcome addition to East Brisbane. We wish her every success and happiness in her new venture and look forward to being neighbours for a long time.

Our most recent movie hire

Posted: September 1, 2007 by Vanessa.

An interesting aspect of our business is the sale and hire of props.  Last month we supplied some furniture and lots of quirky decorating items for the movie Nim’s Island, which stars Jodie Foster.

Our items have appeared in many movies, television shows, advertisements and photo shoots. Our shop even featured on the cover of Rolling Stone with Powderfinger back when the local lads were “the next big thing”.

We would like to say a big “thank-you” to the interesting network of talented people who have used us over the years. We always welcome any enquiries about this aspect of our business.


A good rainy weekend of selling

 ...... and some new stock

Posted: August 26, 2007 by Michael.

What a nice rainy weekend, it's ages since the garden got a good soaking and look at my Jasmine now. The rain also brought people out in force, I guess they were all sick of being stuck indoors. Vanessa and I were both busy with some good furniture sales but even better we also ended the weekend with some great new stock.

This Georgian mahogany corner cabinet is a welcome addition to the shop as is a fantastic Wileman Intarsio vase. We sometimes forget that we have built up many great contacts over all these years - and then in walks some stock that we would ordinarily have to travel across the country or even the world to find, all without leaving my desk.

These items are now SOLD

Finally finished the website!

Posted: August 16, 2007 by Michael.

I decided more than a year ago to have a web site but I never seemed able to spare the time to get the job done. Vanessa and I were always a bit unsure on what we wanted but we knew we didn't like the usual, boring, clunky old web sites that are so often seen.

For many years I've had assistance and ongoing guidance from Malcolm Enright in all aspects of my design and illustration.  We talked through what I wanted and Malcolm helped design the look, prepared all the artwork and showed me how I should format the construction of my web site.  Then I met Paul Egan from Synchromedia and he built my web site and hosts my domain. It's true that there are many companies who offer this service but Paul and his team were able to offer me personal service to ensure a unique and functional web site that compliments my business.

I'm really happy with the outcome! The site is light-hearted, simple to navigate and looks great. I hope you enjoy browsing!


UK buying trip - February 2007

Posted: August 16, 2007 by Michael.

It was great to get back to the UK earlier in the year to do another buying trip.  This time I took my staff member, Tom, with me and it was great to have some help to pack the container and share some of the driving.

After its long sea trip the container arrived earlier in the year and we are still working through the vast array of stock.  I always have some interesting items stashed in the shed so if you don't see what you are looking for please ask.