Lismore master craftsman Geoff Hannah (right) and student Gary Shallala-Hudsonload the dismantled Hannah Cabinet on to a truck before transporting it to Sydney.
Lismore master craftsman Geoff Hannah (right) and student Gary Shallala-Hudsonload the dismantled Hannah Cabinet on to a truck before transporting it to Sydney. Jay Cronan

$1.4m cabinet on show in Sydney

IN A world of streamlined mass production, the steady craftsman hands of Geoffrey Hannah have created a treasure deserving of another age.

For more than six years his Lismore garage has sheltered a work of art in the making – The Hannah Cabinet – a towering and stunning masterpiece of timber craftsmanship that has taken him thousands of hours to create.

On Saturday, with help from two of his students, Gary Shallala-Hudson and Colin Fardon, Mr Hannah readied the precious cabinet for a journey to Sydney, taking it apart in sections and then securing it in the back of a pantech truck.

The cabinet will be on display in the NSW Parliament building for people to get a close-up look at the masterpiece.

The work, valued at $1.4 million, will be exhibited in the Fountain Court of Parliament House during July.

It is the fourth such cabinet the master craftsman has created.

Mr Hannah is hoping to find a buyer for his final major masterpiece.

Named to celebrate his family, Mr Hannah said the cabinet had 140 drawers, all with hand-cut dovetails, and doors inlaid with precious stone and shell, offset by 23-carat gold leaf.

Timbers and veneers include Queensland maple and silky oak, Russian birch burl, East Indian rosewood, Australian red cedar and petrified wood from Chinchilla, Queensland.

The cabinet has secret compartments, but a thorough exploration will also reveal what is said to be a piece of silk from the French Palace of Versailles that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.


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