Bookplate design entitled ‘Waratah Electrolier’

Made by Henry, Lucien in Australia, Oceania

Lucien Felix Henry was born in 1850 in Provence, in the south of France. He arrived in Paris to study art in 1867 and was accepted into Gerome’s studio at the Ecoles des Beaux Arts. His studies were disrupted by the Franco-Prussian War and the siege of Paris. He played a leading role in the popular movement to defend the Paris Commune in 1871 as Chef de la Legion, responsible for the defence of the 14th arrondissement. After their defeat, Henry, along with some 4000 other Communards, was incarce...


Object No.


Physical Description

Design, 'Waratah Electrolier, same room C', from unpublished book, 'Australian Decorative Arts', watercolour, gouache and ink over pencil on paper, made by Lucien Henry, Australia / France, 1889-1891

Illustrated bookplate showing a pressed metal electrolier or light fitting with six large waratah flowers branching downwards. The light fitting is grey with three stars decorating the fixtures. To the left of this is an outline of a column and capital with egg and starfish motif. At the base of the light fitting is a black silhouette. In the background are faint horizontal lines and the outline of another column on the right.



610 mm


460 mm



This is one of a series of designs prepared for a proposed "Australian Decorative Arts" book by Lucien Henry.

Lucien Felix Henry was born in Sisteron, France in 1850. He arrived in Sydney in 1880 and died in France on March 10, 1896. He was a painter, sculptor, designer and teacher.

Henry studied in Paris (under Viollet-le-Duc, architect) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (under Gerome). A French 'communard', Henry was active in the commune of 1871 for which he was sentenced to death, but was later reprieved and sent to New Caledonia. At the end of his sentence he went to Sydney, where he became instructor at the first modelling school in Australia, and in 1883 the first lecturer in art at the school established when the Board of Technical Education took over the former Sydney Mechanics School of Art. He published 'The Legend of the Waratah', and dedicated it to a prominent figure in Australian Labor politics, Fred Bloomfield, directing special attention to 'the great decorative possibilities in the forms of Australian wildflowers'.

Henry was intensely interested in Australian flora, and, through his strong, engaging personality, imbued his students with much of his own power of perception. Among his pupils were: James Nagle, a superintendent of technical education in NSW; G.H.Aurousseau; Gregory Macintosh and Alexander Murray.

Henry designed the 'Captain Cook' and 'Australia' subject stained-glass windows in the Town Hall, Sydney and the chandelier in the Hotel Australia, Sydney. He also painted many portraits and modelled many busts. His pioneering ideas and t he opposition to them are given in an article in 'Australian Art', 1888. He returned to Europe in 1889.

Reference: McCulloch, "Encyclopedia of Australian Art" p.567


Henry, Lucien 1880-1889


Henry, Lucien null



The designs from Henry's unpublished book were given to the Museum in 1911 by Elizabeth Catherine Sea, the aunt of Fanny Broadhurst (Henry's former student and partner).


Credit Line

Gift of Margaret See, 1977

Acquisition Date

28 September, 1977

Cite this Object


Bookplate design entitled 'Waratah Electrolier' 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 January 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Bookplate design entitled 'Waratah Electrolier' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?