Book review: Robert La Nauze, ‘Made to Order. George Thwaites and Sons, colonial cabinet makers', Paul Gregson
The first study into our furniture history appears to be by John Earnshaw, a retired engineer. The name ‘W. Beatton’ stamped on an old cedar chiffonier aroused his curiosity. Earnshaw investigated further and produced a slim book, Early Sydney Cabinetmakers, in 1971 which resulted in devotees, students, historians, dealers and makers striving for more information. Over the years we have gone from newspaper reports, magazine articles, individual summaries and reference books to what attracts me in recent times: books that draw the reader to the real social, educational, creative and hard life of the cabinet maker. Denis Lake’s The Men who made the Celebrated Chairs (2016) is one, now joined by Robert La Nauze’s Made To Order – a superb book guaranteed to satisfy everyone interested in all aspects in our colonial furniture making.