• ISBN: (Hardback)9780522861174
  • PUBLISHED:01/Sep/2011
  • IMPRINT:Miegunyah Press
  • SUBJECT:Australasian & Pacific history

Rare and Curious

Elizabeth Ellis

  • Hardback $79.99

The Secret History of Governor Macquarie's Collectors' Chest

Uncovering the secret histories of the Macquarie and Dixson Galleries collectors' chests.

Rare & Curious uncovers the secret histories of the Macquarie and Dixson Galleries collectors' chests for the first time, telling stories of ambition and failure, friendship and betrayal, intrigue and mystery.

The Macquarie collectors' chest, an enigmatic wooden cabinet filled with painted panels and exotic treasures, was created in Australia for Governor Lachlan Macquarie in around 1818. It was taken to the United Kingdom, and languished forgotten and unnoticed in a Scottish castle until it was rediscovered in the late 1970s.

The Mitchell Library of New South Wales acquired the chest, and its remarkable similarity to the Dixson Galleries collectors' chest, acquired by the Library in 1937, raised intriguing questions about the cabinets' creators, owners and purpose. Filled with more than 150 stunning photographs and paintings, Rare & Curious presents these unusual and beautiful chests within a lavishly produced, elegant book.

About the author

Elizabeth Ellis is the former Mitchell Librarian and Assistant State Librarian, Collection Management Services, at the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. She is now inaugural Emeritus Curator at the Mitchell Library and an Honorary Associate with the Department of History, University of Sydney. Her previous publications include Conrad Martens: Life & Art and, as a contributing author, Reframing Darwin: Evolution and Art in Australia.

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