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Glenn Cooke was offered the three pieces by Sharon at Lancasters in Toowoomba ages ago, he scooped the two chairs as they had wood and more particularly tooled leather work. He declined the deeply carved table from the set which shows her family crest by marriage, that of the Robinson clan. We are so fortunate to own this piece of early Queensland cabinetry using local timbers by an important female maker.

Anna Craig / Miss Lubke  was trained as a leather worker, was born Anna Charlotte Lubke in Hanover, Prussia, grand-daughter of the Count von Hartung. George Hulber of Hamburg had revived the ancient art of leatherwork and was accorded considerable fame in Europe at the time; Miss Lubke was one of his few students. She practised her leatherwork in Hamburg, then moved to London where she won awards, including a diploma for a leather-bound book at the 1896 East London Trades, Industries and Arts Exhibition. She was employed as private secretary to Princess Beatrice of Battenberg. Anna came to Australia in 1898 as companion to the wife of the owner of the Valley of Lagoons, a station on the Upper Burdekin, North Queensland. There she met, and the following year married at Ingham, Charles Baker Craig. She spent her early married years at the Valley of Lagoons. Housework was performed by Aboriginal servants so she had time to devote to her craft. Later Mr Craig acquired a property, Craigmore, in the Toowoomba district and the family moved between the two. Mrs Craig exhibited her leather and marquetry work with the Toowoomba branch of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland from 1902 to 1920; in 1914 her embossed panels included Phoebus and Apollo , Diana and Mermaid . In 1920 she received silver medals for her embossed leatherwork exhibits. She also showed leatherwork at the 1907 exhibition of the Austral Association. A leather screen and an album cover were exhibited in the preliminary Brisbane Women’s Work Exhibition that year; when shown in Melbourne the screen was awarded a first and a special prize in its class. She received a Queensland Jubilee Medal for her piano stool in leather work at the 1909 Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Association (QNAIA) Exhibition at Brisbane and prizes for embossed leather work at the Rockhampton Agricultural Society Shows in 1917, 1918, 1933-36. In 1922 the Craigs moved to Waverley Road, Taringa, Brisbane, and Anna began to exhibit regularly with the QNAIA. Between 1925 and 1936 she was awarded several prizes for her leatherwork and marquetry staining. From Glenn Cooke’s biography of her in 1995.

 

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