Learn about Melbourne Chair Company
The Melbourne Chair Company made wooden cottage chairs, with spindle backs, featuring Australian motifs pressed into the top rail. The three most common designs were: the kangaroo back with banksia flowers (registered number 252), the emu back with ferns and gum flowers (registered number 253), the lyrebird back with ferns and the Sturt desert pea (registered number 254). There is a fourth design featuring the Australian coat of arms, but this is very scarce.
The Melbourne Chair Company, operating under the trade name Melchair Pty Ltd was trading until the mid 1980s but closed a short period after a fire destroyed the factory.
The so-called Federation chairs were made from about 1906 until the 1930s, although reproductions are now on the market, including carver and high chairs. Some of the original machines in fact are still in use, but the dies used to press the famous backs have been replaced.
Tasmanian blackwood was used for the turned legs and spindles, the seats were usually of kauri pine, sometimes saddled, sometimes caned, and the backs were pressed from hoop pine. When finished, the chairs were dipped in varnish. more...