Friday, October 16, 2009

Edmund Rosenstengel

Back in 1922, a Toowoomba-born man set up a furniture manufacturing business at 524 Brunswick St, New Farm. He had learned his cabinet-making craft as an apprentice to his father in Toowoomba, and further refined it in places as far away as Sydney, Auckland and Vancouver. His name was Edmund Rosenstengel, and he was to become a well-known Brisbane furniture maker whose pieces are still sought after today. Here is his showroom, pictured in the days of horse-drawn deliveries.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #141057)

Ed Rosenstengel lived just around the corner from his business premises, at 72 Harcourt St, New Farm. He is pictured here at home, relaxing in a lounge chair that was made in his own factory.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #141008)

The quality of Rosenstengel's work and his use of native Queensland timbers meant that he had custom orders from well-to-do Queensland residents, as well as other places of interest. There is a host of detail in this frame that he made for the opening of Brisbane's City Hall - click to see a larger image.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #139990)

Rosenstengel was commissioned to build a bedroom suite made from Queensland maple that was to be installed in Government House for the visit of the Duke of Gloucester in 1934, and he also designed a maple and satinwood jewellery box (below) that was presented to  the Duchess of York (later in her life, she would be known as the Queen Mother) during her visit to Brisbane with her husband (who was to become King George VI) in 1927.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #141013)

I'd like to report that the Rosenstengel business continues, but he retired in 1956, and died in his New Farm home in 1962. His showroom and workshops have gone too, replaced by a modern office building.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Mr Stanley, I presume?

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