Greene & Greene Bedside Table
About the timber
The specific tree which this piece is made from has a special provenance to Melbournians.
A set of English elm trees were cut down from outside the MCG in 2001 to make way for the new sports stand. Instead of turning these 155 year old trees into woodchips for mulch (which is what was going to happen), a few thoughtful “woodies” arranged to take the trees, slab them and dry them over a few years before selling them to fellow furniture makers. This is a great result for trees that were otherwise destined for woodchips.
From my own research, the trees were planted in the 1850s. Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller was appointed as the Victorian Government Botanist in 1853. He worked on developing what is now the Royal Botanic Gardens. At the same time, the site for the Melbourne Cricket Ground was selected and games began being played there. As far as I can determine, von Mueller was responsible for introducing a significant number of plants into Melbourne during this time, including the very tree which this piece is made from.
About the bedside table
This bedside table is made in the Greene & Greene style which is a key part of the American Arts & Crafts Movement.
The style's name comes from the architectural firm owned by two brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene.
G&G style finishes are very simple and provide for a tactile and visual closeness to the wood. Typical of the style are decorative elements. This bedside table features ebony plugs and the common "cloud lift" curves on the shelf, sides, and the drawer pull.