This remarkable book will be welcomed by everyone with an interest in Australian colonial furniture. It contains comprehensive accounts of the life and work of 86 leading furniture-makers, convict and free, in mainland New South Wales (including the Port Phillip District) from 1788 to the separation of Victoria in 1851.
It deals with their family backgrounds; their furniture and other businesses; and their political, commercial, religious, social, sporting and cultural interests. It identifies their actual and possible clients, their apprentices, and their employees. It reveals their business and other associations with one another; their often heavy reliance on the importation and sale of foreign-made furniture; their exposure to the risks of business insolvency; and the conflicts and scandals in which a number of them became embroiled.
The book is the culmination of extensive original research carried out over a number of years. It expands greatly the known information about the relevant furniture-makers, and creates a data-base necessary for the development of a detailed profile of the colonial furniture-making industry in the 19th century.