Author(s): Robert La Nauze
From majestic carved chairs and handsome cedar desks in Melbourne's banks to grand bookcases in country mansions and stately furniture still housed in Victoria's Government House today, Made to Order celebrates the furniture made by George Thwaites and his sons. For three decades following the discovery of gold, Melbourne gave rise to gothic-revival style buildings, and foremost in furnishing these new government and commercial buildings - and the homes of the well-heeled - was the cabinet work of Geo. Thwaites & Son. This book illuminates the lives of not only the owners but the artisans, whose contribution to the fabric of colonial and Victorian society has been largely overlooked. Made to Order provides a fascinating insight into colonial Melbourne and features an extraordinary range of furniture that provides a testament to the quality of the Thwaites' workmanship. Sales points* Tells the fascinating story of George Thwaites & Son, the go-to cabinetmakers for the colonial Melbourne establishment for the first time.* Unusually, the book profiles both the Victorian colonial powerbrokers and the artisans who furnished their offices and homes.* Includes rarely seen photographs from the period.* Profiles highly sought-after pieces of early Australian furniture that are coveted today.
Robert La Nauze, who is also an artist, has had a distinguished career in research and technology management for the energy and extractive mining industries in which he held senior positions both in the CSIRO and in industry. His biography of William Thwaites, Engineer to Marvellous Melbourne (2011), was shortlisted for the 2012 Victorian History Publication Awards.