Furniture

Every piece of furniture has a practical purpose regardless of how simple or grand it is, even if some pieces were built more for display than function. Today, furniture remains one of the largest areas of the antiques market and items are categorised by type and period.

The term brown furniture refers to traditional pieces made from dark woods such as mahogany, while pieces made from native woods like oak and walnut are sometimes referred to as vernacular furniture.

Famous historical makers include Chippendale, Gillows, William Vile and John Cobb. More recent market trends have seen modern vintage pieces appearing in specialist design and ‘Interior’ auctions.

Irish mid-18th century mahogany side table

Pick of the week: Irish exuberance brings the big bucks in North Carolina

01 March 2021

Bidders were out in force at a recent sale in North Carolina for a collection of 136 lots consigned from the estate of the late Robert K Johnson, a finance and telecommunications executive.

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Commode inspired by Anglo-French influence heads impressive Chichester sale

01 March 2021

In a sale that yielded quality and surprises in most sections, the major talking points at Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium) were provided by two pieces of furniture. Emerging from the same house and given here-to-sell estimates, both achieved five-figure results.

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Design and quality of Deco armchair stands out

01 March 2021

Despite having no maker’s mark, the design and quality of this c.1930 oak reclining book table armchair, below, proclaimed Ambrose Heal.

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Dunhill lighter makes bright price but Mouseman leads Ilkley sale

01 March 2021

Dunhill Aquarium table lighters painted by Margaret Bennett and husband Alan in the 1950s-60s remain popular among collectors in these non-smoking days.

Porcelain propaganda plate

Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Soviet propaganda plate

22 February 2021

With estimates from £400-2000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.

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Seventy-five mirror bids in the frame

22 February 2021

On a day when furniture and antiques proved to be particularly popular, the surprise star of Fellows’ (23% buyer’s premium) 740-lot online sale was an Italian 19th century pier mirror.

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Bidders eager to compete for market-fresh material from Warwickshire manor

22 February 2021

Until its sale last year, Newbold Pacey Hall had been the seat of the Little family since the house was built by William Little in c.1780-90.

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Pick of the week: Pondicherry carpet saved from the ashes of Ossian’s Hall

15 February 2021

In his book 'Oriental Rugs' (1998), textiles scholar Murray Eiland Jr lamented the challenges in dating and identifying carpets woven in south-east India.

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Estate of Turpin Antiques dealer stands up and delivers

15 February 2021

A recent Reeman Dansie sale in Colchester included 80 pieces from the estate of the well-known dealer Jane Sumner, who died last September at the age of 82.

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Gainsborough chair is sitting pretty at Locke & England auction

15 February 2021

Although now known as Gainsborough chairs, generous walnut and upholstered armchairs were often referred to by contemporaries as ‘French’ chairs, as the most elaborate styles were based on French rococo.

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Major Deco names make big prices in Paris

15 February 2021

The Gros & Delettrez (30% buyer’s premium) auction of Art Deco held in Paris on January 22 offered works from the collection of a gallery owner.

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Chinese works of art: a here-to-sell strategy

15 February 2021

Colchester auction house Reeman Dansie follows a policy of detailed cataloguing for Chinese art but modest estimates

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5 Questions: Oriental carpets dealer Clive Rogers

13 February 2021

Clive Rogers, senior partner at Clive Rogers Oriental Rugs, specialises in antique Oriental and Occidental carpets and textiles from his base in Stroud, Gloucestershire. He is currently exhibiting at LARTA Virtual 2021 (until February 14).

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True blue: Hokusai uncovered

08 February 2021

Although catalogued as ‘a 19th century Japanese woodblock print’, the signature to a scene of a boat with Mount Fuji beyond gave a clue to its creator.

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Group of Wiener Werkstätte silverware shines alongside Knox and luxury liner relic

08 February 2021

American pieces understandably dominated the Rago (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) early 20th century Design sale in Lambertville, New Jersey, on January 21.

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London laid out across four panels

08 February 2021

This mahogany and parcel gilt four-fold English screen featured at Doyle (26/21/15% buyer’s premium) in New York on January 21.

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No public view? No worries…

08 February 2021

Despite lockdown restrictions Bonhams' traditional Oak Interior offerings performed very well

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‘Textbook’ vernacular furniture

08 February 2021

Two of the choice pieces of furniture in Bonhams’ Oak Interiors sale on January 20-21 were published examples.

Antique Gainsborough chair

Gainsborough chair stars in our weekly pick of five auction highlights

05 February 2021

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a Gainsborough chair from c.1750 that went over five times over estimate.

Brighton antiques dealer Patrick Moorhead

Brighton dealer Patrick Moorhead consigns 124 items to auction at Christie’s

04 February 2021

Brighton-based dealer Patrick Moorhead has consigned a group of works to Christie’s which are being offered in a single-owner online auction this month.

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