On March 21 and 22 Bungendore Wood Works Gallery in NSW are launching a prospectus for the possible public purchase and permanent placement of Geoff Hannah’s magnificent Hannah Cabinet.
The cabinet is one of the finest pieces of woodwork made in Australia in recent years and deserves to be housed in a major gallery or public institution where it can be on permanent display.
For more information the cabinet, or to attend the prospectus launch phone (02) 6238 1682.
Below is an excerpt of a story by AWR Editor Linda Nathan about the Hannah Cabinet that appeared in AWR#61, published Dec 2008.
I first met Geoff Hannah some 19 years ago. Smartly dressed in a dark suit he stood every day at an exhibition of fine woodwork at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building, patiently showing his amazing Yarralumla Cabinet to a constant stream of spellbound visitors. It was only later that others questioned the description I gave of Geoff. ‘Geoff in a suit? No way!’ Bare feet, t-shirt and stubbies topped off with a spiky blonde crew cut and an ever-present smile might more accurately describe the everyday appearance of one of Australia’s best known master craftsmen.
Geoff Hannah has produced four major pieces in a 46-year long woodwork career. On top of numerous traditionally inspired pieces the Bicentenary Cabinet (1988), Yarralumla Cabinet (1990), Australiana Collector’s Cabinet (1993) and now the Hannah Cabinet (2008), loom large—in fact each loomed larger than the one before. And each has taken longer to build, culminating in a six year plus completion period for the most recent. The Bicentenary Cabinet remains in Geoff Hannah’s possession. The Yarralumla Cabinet is owned by the Australiana Fund and resides in Yarralumla, ACT. The Australiana Collector’s Cabinet is part of a private collection in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Hannah Cabinet is 8’x 8’ x 28-1/2” (Geoff works only in imperial measurements). Thirty-four species of timber are used in the cabinet, however the main construction is Brazilian mahogany veneered in madrona burl, crossbanded in East Indian rosewood, stringed in ebony and inlaid with magnolia.
The material cost of the cabinet was more than considerable. Sapphires, peridoes and amethyst are some of the gemstones incorporated, and many of the 130 drawers have a semi-precious stone base. The six columns were turned from $10,000 worth of ebony. Each of the 18 doors feature marquetry on both sides. There are at least 15 secret compartments built into the structure. Other materials include pre-CITES listing sourced tortoise shell, ivory and woods. Geoff estimates the cabinet weighs over a tonne and a half.