As a result of the gold rushes of the 1850s, Australia’s population soared to about a million by 1865. The new wealth created a demand for larger and more ornate furniture with large bookcases and telescopic extending dining tables. Carving and fretwork was common but the quality of workmanship suffered somewhat under the pressure to keep up with demand.
From around 1865, enormous changes in technology meant the virtual end of hand made furniture and the introduction of squarer lines more easily handled by machines. Cedar, which still predominated at the beginning of the period was gradually replaced by blackwood and pine. The period also saw a price war between European and Chinese cabinet makers who each tried to produce similar looking pieces more cheaply than the other by reducing standards of workmanship and using poorer quality timbers for linings.
Australian Victorian furniture available now
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