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Joshua Ebenston & Matthew Fern

Joshua_Ebenston_and_Mathew_Fern.jpg

Joshua Ebenston | Cabinetmaker | Australia c.1835-1877 | Matthew Fern | Carver | Australia 1831-1898 | 'Glengallan' sideboard | 1868 | Cedar, carved | Purchased 1995 with funds from the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society (Brisbane) Inc. through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Centenary 1895-1995 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Joshua Ebenston and Matthew Fern, ''Glengallan' sideboard', 1868

Joshua Ebenston, Cabinetmaker
Australia c.1835-1877
Matthew Fern, Carver
Australia 1831-1898
'Glengallan' sideboard 1868
Cedar, carved
Purchased 1995 with funds from the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society (Brisbane) Inc. through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Centenary 1895-1995
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Joshua Ebenston (Cabinetmaker)
Matthew Fern (Carver)

'Glengallan' sideboard 1868

The magnificent 'Glengallan' sideboard 1868 is one of Queensland's most significant examples of colonial furniture.

While the backboard depicts the national symbols of an emu and a kangaroo, the inclusion of the lorikeet and pineapple give it a more local flavour.

The carving is attributed to Matthew Fern, who was appointed as the first instructor of wood carving at Brisbane Technical College in 1895. An 1868 press report from The Brisbane Courier records the first showing of the sideboard:

It is satisfactory to know that our beautiful indigenous timbers are coming into favour for cabinet work. We had the pleasure yesterday of inspecting [at] Mr. Ebenston's
. . . a drawing and dining-room suite of furniture, of Queensland woods and Brisbane manufacture and made to order for Mr. John Deschar [sic], Glengallan station, Darling Downs . . . It is satisfactory to find that our leading colonists are at last becoming alive to the advantages which our local cabinet makers and upholsterers are able to offer them.