Rare and Curious
written by Elizabeth Ellis
Miegunyah Press | ISBN 9780522861174
Hardback – 288 pages
Member’s price: $72.00
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Rare and 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 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 and Curious presents these unusual and beautiful chests within a lavishly produced, elegant book.