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Betzy Dinesen

Term applied to an architectural and interior design style prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the USA and Australia, countries formerly colonized by Britain. The style, used mostly for domestic architecture, was based on buildings of early colonial periods and had much in common with the contemporary Neo-Georgian tendency in Britain (e.g. Annie Longfellow Thorp House, 1887); later developments on the west coast of the USA drew on Spanish styles. It became popular in response to a reaction against the ornate eclecticism of late 19th-century architecture and the search for a new aesthetic: Colonial Revival was promoted as a ‘national’ style, rooted in the foundations of the nations and suited to their environment and culture. A similar stimulus produced revivals of colonial styles in other countries, such as South Africa, where the Cape Dutch style was revived in work by Herbert Baker around the end of the 19th century, and Brazil, where features of Portuguese colonial architecture appeared in the work of ...


Kevin Fahy

(b Sligo, ?1805; d Sydney, Feb 21, 1886).

Australian cabinetmaker of Irish birth. He arrived in Sydney a free settler in 1835 and started his own business in 1841 as a cabinetmaker, upholsterer and undertaker. His billhead, decorated with the royal coat of arms (indicative of vice-regal patronage), describes him as a ‘Designer and Manufacturer of Superior Furniture’. His workshop was one of the most extensive mid-19th-century furniture manufactories in Sydney and attracted both official and private custom. In addition to being a prominent retailer of imported furniture, Lenehan produced a considerable amount of locally made furniture in both indigenous and imported woods. His designs drew heavily on contemporary British furniture pattern books and catalogues. Apart from extant documented work at Government House, Sydney, examples can be found at Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW, identified by his impressed punch mark or one of several trade labels. Furniture from his workshop was exhibited in Sydney in 1854 and 1861...