Monthly Archives: November 2014

Simple Decorating Advice

These days, when deciding on furniture and decorative items, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by conflicting advice and seduced by the latest “cheap and cheerful” fashion. In 1948, Millicent Fenwick, associate editor of Vogue, gave the following advice on decoration.

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.”

To my mind, it’s advice that has withstood the test of time!

Rosenstengel Furniture

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.

Antiques are Green

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.

Chinese Gaming Counters

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.