Robert Prenzel

We’ve just arrived home from a four week trip to the UK and France buying stock for a container which will arrive in September.

We set off for the airport at 11pm, the afternoon prior was spent sealing the deal on this amazing carved wooden panel by Robert Prenzel dated 1926.

Robert Prenzel was born in Prussia in 1866. After completing his apprenticeship he migrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1888.

We’ve always had an interest in Australian crafts and carvings so we’ll be keeping this piece for a while.


Simple Decorating Advice

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.”


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.


Verandah Furniture

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 Paul Frankl style pretzel lounge suite, a pair of split cane sofa’s and a Victorian willow armchair.


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.


Antique Box Collecting

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!


Vintage Lloyd Loom

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.


Bookcase Pairs

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!