Dower chest carved around 1929 for Marjorie Field


DB92

No photographs have been able to be found of this dower chest. If you  have any further information or pictures to add to this please contact Westbury and Districts Historical Society through the contact page.

“Ellen Nora Payne – Woodcarver of Tasmania” by Russell Atkinson page 75 &76

Always an opportunist, Mrs Payne was again in luck one day in 1929, the year of great and destructive floods in Launceston.  Her niece, Marjorie, daughter of Mr and Mrs George Field, had announced her engagement to Mr Ivan George Ibbott, and she was anxiously searching for suitable timber for a dower chest.  She was staying with her sister Ethel in Invermay, Launceston, where the floods had been especially damaging, and was walking along a street one day when she saw a man building a fowlhouse, with a stack of timber close handy.  The timber, she noticed, looked remarkably like cedar, and a closer inspection confirmed her opinion.  It seemed to be in good condition and was just what she so badly needed.

Without further hesitation she approached the wanton builder and opened negotiations with him. 

Would he, she asked, be prepared to accommodate his fowls in a dwelling made of less valuable timber?

The man was prepared to co-operate.  Certainly he would, if he had any, but this was all he could find.  It had come from a nearby house which the floods had destroyed.

In that case, Mrs Payne asked, if she were to pay him for whatever timber he needed for his hens, would he let her have  the cedar?

Thus she gained possession of some beautiful pieces with which she carved a chest for Marjorie which ranks as one of the most handsome she has ever carved.

“Cattle King of Van Diemen’s Land” by Claudia M. Dean page 128.

Marjorie (1895-1983) was Nellie’s niece – daughter of her elder brother George Westfield Field and Ethel Archer.  Marjorie grew up firstly at “Waterlea” near Westbury whilst her father helped manage “Westfield” estate then the family  lived at ”Forest Hall” at Elizabeth Town before building on “Moorlands” at Kimberley in 1902. This was a property he had inherited.

Marjorie Westfield Field became a governess to several prominent Tasmanian families before she married Ivan Ibbot and they ran a dairy farm. Although they had no children of their own they welcomed others especially Marjorie’s nephews William “Bill” Field (Raymo’s son) and Anthony “Tony” Field (Brian known as Tim’s son)

Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), Saturday 1 February 1930, page 12.