Work table, F.E. Strangward
  • Artist
    F.E. Strangward
  • Born
  • Died
  • Title
    Work table
  • Date of Production
    c. 1910-1930
  • Medium
    Blackwood, wood veneers
  • Dimensions
    685 x 740 x 410 mm
  • Credit Details
    Gift of Mrs. Jessie Clarke,1998

F.E. Strangward

Work table

A banker, stockbroker and man of business, Victorian born F E Strangward had a passion for working with wood and spent much of his spare time producing furniture.  Apprenticed  in his teens to a cabinetmaker, Strangward is known to have made 22 pieces of furniture using an inlay  technique that is very close to that used in the construction of 18th century English Tunbridgware.  This was described by  Strangward himself as "mosaique" woodware.   In creating unique designs, some of which had distinctively Australian characteristics such as the kangaroo motif featured on this work table, Strangward restricted himself to the use of coloured woods such as pear, cedar, blackwood and holly that he obtained from local sources. This piece alone is estimated to have been covered with over two million tiny pieces of wood, many of which are only half a millimetre thick.  Strangwood constructed this and other pieces of furniture using tools that he designed and made specially for the purpose.

Formerly the property of Alfred Deakin, federal member for Ballarat (1901-1913) and Australia's second Prime Minister, this unique object was a gift of his grand daughter Mrs. Jessie Clarke.