Chancellor’s Chair, Macquarie University

PROJECT DATE : 2018
project
Chancellor’s Chair, Macquarie University
client
Macquarie University
services
Furniture Conservation

Overview

Towards the end of his governorship in New South Wales (1810 – 1821), Lachlan Macquarie commissioned two convict artisans – William Temple and John Webster – to make two large ornamental chairs. The chairs were constructed from Australian rosewood and are the earliest known examples of a style known as ‘Colonial Gothic’. They feature extensive gothic decorative features.

One of these chairs is now the property of Macquarie University, known as the Macquarie University Chancellor’s Chair. The other belongs to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Condition

The Macquarie University Chair has been repaired and modified a number of times since 1821.

Prior to treatment, the blade of the dagger had been broken off, the two spires on the back legs were loose and there was some movement in the front seat rail/front leg joints.

The inner facing of both sides and the seat were upholstered in a leather which had become very pale in colour as a result of wear. The seat upholstery was in poor condition with the webbing partly broken.

Treatment

  • Realigned the dagger blade using animal glue. Losses at the joint were infilled with wood filler and colour matched to the original
  • Consolidation of the spires on the top of the back legs and front rail joints with animal glue
  • Waxing of all wooden areas
  • Replacement of seat webbing and realignment of seat padding
  • Replacement of the leather upholstery with kangaroo fur
  • Recommendations for ongoing maintenance

project
Chancellor’s Chair, Macquarie University
client
Macquarie University
services
Furniture Conservation
Before treatment, display location
During Treatment

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