The Trevor Kennedy Collection includes fine furniture made in Australia and used in Australian homes and workplaces. This travelling dressing table, made about 1800, is solid casuarina and has its original finish.
Travelling dressing table
As well as being a remarkably early piece, the item is distinctive as casuarina – or she-oak – was usually only used as a veneer. This dresser is based on a late 18th century Sheraton design. The top section opens to show recessed and lidded compartments with a hinged mirror.
The Trevor Kennedy Collection includes sideboards, tables, desks, chairs and a four-poster bed. It features several pieces from the Sydney Lumber Yard, made before 1820. Craftsmen represented include Lawrence Butler, Joseph Sly and Andrew Lenehan.
This table is pictured and described in Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson's book, Australian Furniture Pictorial History and Dictionary 1788 – 1938:
The Labour Returns for 1800 include an entry for a 'toilet' with dressing table made by convict artisans at the Lumber Yard for Lieutenant Governor King's wife. Dressing stands or 'toilet' tables can be found in several 18th-century furniture pattern books. The design for this travelling dressing table in casuarina derives from illustrations in Hepplewhite's Guide (1788) and Sheraton's Dictionary (1803).