Armchairs, pair, cabbage tree wood / paint, attributed to [Arthur] Ridgeway, Taree, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1930

Made in New South Wales, Australia, c1930.

Armchairs, pair, cabbage tree wood / paint, attributed to [Arthur] Ridgeway, Taree, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1930

Pair of armchairs, the slatted arms, backs and seats made of cabbage tree (Livistona australis) canes probably obtained from the Forster/Tuncurry area, cross-stretchers and framing elements of other unidentified wood; each chair painted with black enamel with evidence of previous paint coats beneath.

Summary

Object No.

95/338/1

Physical Description

Armchairs, pair, cabbage tree wood / paint, attributed to [Arthur] Ridgeway, Taree, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1930

Pair of armchairs, the slatted arms, backs and seats made of cabbage tree (Livistona australis) canes probably obtained from the Forster/Tuncurry area, cross-stretchers and framing elements of other unidentified wood; each chair painted with black enamel with evidence of previous paint coats beneath.

Production

Notes

Probably designed by the maker. The style of the chairs has much in common with early 19th century English bamboo chairs.

Construction of the chairs is traditionally attributed to Mr (possibly Arthur) Ridgeway, an Aboriginal man living in the Taree area in the 1930s. The chairs are the subject of two photographs in Ella Simon's Through my eyes (Rigby, 1978), one showing 'Mr' Ridgeway with three armchairs and a two-seater in front of his 'hut', the other showing Mary Ridgeway with daughters Nita and Marcia in a version of the chair in front of the same hut.

The approximate date of 1930 is based on the style of clothes worn by Mary Ridgeway in the cited photo. It is possible the chairs were made as a source of income during the Depression.

Made

c1930

History

Notes

The chairs were used by vendor's grandmother, Caroline Bennett, in her large federation-style house 'Curzon', Victoria Street, Taree during the 1930s. The house had an extensive garden managed by an Aboriginal gardener, George Thorpe. It is thought he may have been the contact with Mr Ridgeway. The set originally included a two-seater. The vendors also have a walking stick said to have been carved by George Thorpe.
The chairs have remained in the Bennett family since the 1930s.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1995

Acquisition Date

15 December, 1995

Cite this Object

Harvard

Armchairs, pair, cabbage tree wood / paint, attributed to [Arthur] Ridgeway, Taree, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1930 2014, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 January 2018, <https://ma.as/147850>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/147850 |title=Armchairs, pair, cabbage tree wood / paint, attributed to [Arthur] Ridgeway, Taree, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1930 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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