Robert Dowling, the elusive cabinetmaker of O'Brien's Bridge, Van Diemen's Land, David Bedford
David Bedford has researched the life and work of Tasmanian cabinetmaker Richard Dowling (c 1820/1822–1867), little documented till now. He presents new discoveries about Dowling’s life and suggests why Dowling’s story has been so elusive. Evidence has emerged, and examples of his work found, which show that Dowling, previously known only for parquetry writing slopes bearing his label, also made furniture. Dr Bedford provides technical descriptions of Dowling’s workmanship and identifies most of the timbers that Dowling used. By examining labelled examples, he identifies the characteristics of Dowling’s style, showing how these stylistic characteristics can be used to assess if unlabelled pieces can be credibly attributed to Dowling or not.