Robert Prenzel

Another man good with wood was Robert Prenzel (1866-1941).

I really like the sound of this chap. He came to Australia from Prussia in 1888.

I was reminded of his work when wandering through the National Gallery of Victoria. They have a beautiful suite of furniture which he made in 1906. At the time he was doing some very unique work for Western District folk and this wardrobe is an example. Some swell Australian flora and fauna. Very arts and craft.

Terence Lane, the curator at the NGV, calls it Gum-nut Art Nouveau. I like Kangaroo Art Nouveau better.

| Detail, Large wardrobe from the Mathias suite, blackbean, 1906 |

Things were going so well for him that he moved his workshop to 11 Toorak Road, South Yarra, to be near all his affluent customers.

What a lovely image of Prenzel at Merricks in the 1920s.

| Robert Prenzel (right) and his friend Otto Waschatz at Merricks, c1925 |

Julia Ritson

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