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Furniture of the NZ Colonial Era

An unprecedented work,
lavishly illustrated and released in time for Christmas!

Furniture of the
New Zealand Colonial Era

By William Cottrell

There is a rich, layered social history to be found in everyday articles­­. If a picture paints a thousand words then a chair, bed or commode tells a microcosmical history. In Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era antique furniture restorer and conservator William Cottrell has combined his boundless energy and enthusiasm for New Zealand antique furniture and inimitable knowledge to author an engrossing, definitive account of furniture and interiors of nineteenth-century New Zealand and the cabinet-making industry of that time.

Rich with fascinating information and lavishly illustrated with more than 1500 photographs, the book tells the detailed stories behind a huge range of furniture — from the quirky and ungainly pieces made by the not-so-accomplished, to the pieces made by the likes of Anton Seuffert, pieces which are, quite simply, works of art. Much of the furniture of this period was produced for functional rather than aesthetic reasons and few pieces remain, those that do are rare and precious collectors' items. Stunning colour plates within the book capture all sorts of rarities from the innovative to the beautiful.

Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era will be launched at Auckland Museum, tying into the reopening of the Museum's Decorative Arts Gallery. Many of the beautiful pieces in the Gallery feature within the book!

The most lavishly illustrated book to be published in New Zealand in the last decade, this is a work of timeless appeal not only for fans of antiques and history but for all who appreciate a truly beautiful book.

RELEASE 28 November 2006 IMPRINT Reed RRP $150.00 (limited leather bound edition $500)

About William Cottrell

In the late 1980s William Cottrell packed in his job as a film editor at TVNZ and went overseas. While travelling in Europe he decided to turn his passion for antique furniture into more than just an interest and took up an elite apprenticeship with master furniture-restorer David Hordern in London. Back home in New Zealand, William has earned himself a prestigious reputation for retrieving and reinstating over-restored and badly damaged pieces of period European and New Zealand colonial furniture. His unique line of work has made for some interesting stories.

He has had classic and invaluable furniture pass through his hands and has worked on pieces by the likes of Thomas Chippendale and William Kent. Te Papa's curator of applied arts paid him a visit just prior to the Museum's completion and was bowled over by the extent of William's own collection of New Zealand early settler furniture. Te Papa ended up purchasing around a third of the pieces William had in his possession at that time.

In 2002 William, his Italian wife Simonetta Ferrari and their children moved to Gunyah, an Edwardian homestead near Darfield. Gunyah is a ten-hectare estate, with 30 rooms and, of course, a huge collection of antique furniture. Even the children's bedrooms house remarkable collections. At Gunyah William continues his restoration business and the family run a retreat for tourists in the homestead.


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