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H6862 Chair, owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, rose mahogany (Dysoxylum fraserianum) / Casuarina / Australian red cedar (Toona ciliata) / modern upholstery of eastern grey kangaroo fur, gothic style, attributed makers John Webster (carver) / William Temple (cabinet maker), New South Wales, Austra. Click to enlarge.

Armchair owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie

Made by Webster, John in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1820-1821.

The 'Macquarie Chair' is undeniably the most important example of early colonial furniture in the MAAS collection. Fortuitously it is also a chair we know much about. One of a pair made for Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales 1810-1822, and his wife Elizabeth, it was crafted by convicts in 1820-21. The companion chair is in the collection of Macquarie University. A third, similarly-styled, gothic revival armchair is in St James Church, Sydney; it is the plaque on this chair identifyin...

Summary

Object No.

H6862

Object Statement

Chair, owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, rose mahogany (Dysoxylum fraserianum) / Casuarina / Australian red cedar (Toona ciliata) / modern upholstery of eastern grey kangaroo fur, gothic style, attributed makers John Webster (carver) / William Temple (cabinet maker), New South Wales, Australia, 1820-1821

Physical Description

Armchair in gothic style. The back is carved in rose mahogany with a low trefoil ogee cusped arch, embellished with carved crockets and surmounted in the centre with a carved finial of a clenched dirk representing the Macquarie crest. The back, upholstered in eastern grey kangaroo fur, is set over a bead and cavetto moulded rail with a gallery of four pierced quatrefoil inset with escutcheon. The four legs of square section, set slightly splayed, carved with arched gothic cavetto moulded fretwork with inset panels of veneered Casuarina sp. The rails similarly made terminating at the uprights with quatrefoils set in square cavetto moulded panels inset with escutcheons. The rear posts terminate with spired crocketed finials, the front posts with square reverse ogee mouldings; the tops inlaid with quatrefoils of casuarina sp. The arms formed of two counterpoised arcs forming a waisted gallery on each arm of two pierced quatrefoils inset with escutcheons. The lower arm sections upholstered with eastern grey kangaroo fur. The upper arms bevelled. The woodwork french polished over wax.

Dimensions

Height

1310 mm

Width

725 mm

Depth

584 mm

Weight

24 kg

Production

Notes

Made for Major-General Macquarie in 1821. (Governor Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of NSW January 1810 to December 1821). The chair was originally upholstered with red kangaroo fur, then in 1982, R. & R. Neal Upholstery of Sydney were commissioned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences to reupholster the chair with eastern grey kangaroo fur.

Cabinet maker William Temple, cabinet maker (1779-1839), was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment at Lincoln, England in March 1813. He arrived at Sydney on the 'General Hewitt' in February 1814. Worked for Governor Macquarie for 1.5 years at Government House. Was granted a pardon by Macquarie in November 1821. In the 1828 Census he was listed as a carpenter residing in Parramatta.

Carver and guilder John Webster (1798-1842) was convicted at the Old Bailey in Oct 1819 and sentenced to 14 years transportation. He arrived at Sydney on the 'Mangles' in August 1820. He was also pardoned by Governor Macquarie in November 1821. In the 1828 Census he was listed as a carver and guilder at Castlereagh Street.

History

Notes

The chair was possibly commissioned by Governor Macquarie for the drawing room of Government House. It is assumed that upon his retirement, he took the chair back to his estate on the Island of Mull in Scotland. It then passed through the widow of Governor Macquarie's son, Lachlan Macquarie to Lieutenant Colonel Gardyne. It was given by Colonel Gardyne to Governor Macquarie's nephew, Captain Charles Macquarie, who himself had 2 sons. One of these sons migrated to Canada, taking this chair with him. His widow placed the chair on loan with the Vancouver City Museum in about 1937. In 1959 the Vancouver City Museum approached the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney. The transfer to MAAS took place in 1961.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Vancouver City Museum, Canada, 1961

Acquisition Date

10 July 1961

Cite this Object

Harvard

Armchair owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 January 2020, <https://ma.as/246808>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/246808 |title=Armchair owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 January 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Icons: From the MAAS Collection at the Powerhouse Museum.

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