Nicholas Dattner tables hit the auction airwaves

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 8th September, 2017

Two dining tables by the legendary Australian furniture maker Nicholas Dattner will be up for grabs at E.J. Ainger’s forthcoming auction from 9.30am Tuesday September 12 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Dattner, who hung up his mitre in 2008 after 25 years in business to pursue other goals in life, was an unashamed promoter of timber furniture and offered what he modestly called “the most beautiful tables in the world”.

The tables were predominantly made from a eucalypt known as Red Gum (often up to 500 years old), dead trees earmarked for firewood, or reclaimed aged building timbers.

They were mainly made by hand using traditional mortice, tenon and dovetail joinery before being treated with a hard wearing polish – a mix of polyurethane and naturally occurring oils and waxes. 

It was not uncommon for Dattner to construct large tables (one was 7.5 metres long) from a single tree.

The Dattner tables join Victorian, Edwardian and French antique furniture among the auction offerings.

Of particular note is a five-leaf Victorian extension dining table complete with 14 upholstered chairs, an ornately carved massive French oak bookcase and a Tasmanian nine-drawer Huon pine chest.

Other furniture items include several Victorian wardrobes – the standout being a walnut three-door breakfront specimen – a French parquetry and ormolu mounted queen size bed, a decorative oriental sixfold screen and two particularly fine French walnut upright display cases.   

The auction also features estate jewellery, sterling silver, comprehensive Royal Doulton and Wedgewood dinner services, Lladro and Royal Doulton figures, kerosene lamps, Goebel and carved ivory figurines, a selection of French copperware, and a large collection of European and Australian oil paintings, watercolours and graphics. 

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