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.

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Interior designers and auction houses team up for spring sales

25 February 2020

This spring auction houses Dreweatts and Fellows plan events with interior decorators and designers Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, Caroline Percy and architectural historian Oliver Gerrish.

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The seat of history: Hornby Castle Chair sells for £35,000 at Bonhams Oxford

24 February 2020

The so-called Hornby Castle Chair, a 4ft 7in (1.38m) high oak open armchair c.1580-1600, sold for £35,000 plus premium at the latest Oak Interior sale at Bonhams in Oxford.

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Miniature chair and huge ox add up to big prices

24 February 2020

The Gentleman’s Library Sale at Bonhams on February 12-13 included a miniature William and Mary or Queen Anne walnut armchair standing 21in (53cm) high).

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Vernacular furniture returning home from US provides textbook lots in Oxford saleroom

24 February 2020

The Oak Interior sale at Bonhams in Oxford on February 19 included two substantial private collections consigned for sale from the US.

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The web shop window: Asprey dressing case

24 February 2020

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Whiskey mirrors galore reflect high demand

17 February 2020

The first specialist pub memorabilia sale of the year held by Co Cavan auction house Victor Mee (19% buyer’s premium) showed no drying up of demand in a lively market niche.

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Nelson bust sails high to top sale

17 February 2020

While furniture and books fully justified its title, The Oxford Library Sale at Mallams (22.5% buyer’s premium) was led by a surprise star: a rather lowly regarded gesso bust of the sort that would have been a minor decoration to such a room.

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Modern design delights from husband-and-wife architects behind the new British Library

17 February 2020

The recent auction of 20th century design at Sworders (25% buyer’s premium) in Stansted Mountfitchet was underpinned by more than 60 consignments from the estate of MJ Long.

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The web shop window: Victorian walnut davenport

17 February 2020

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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And the award for ‘best antiques in a movie’ goes to…

10 February 2020

Ever been distracted by the antiques in a movie or TV series and wondered if they were ‘right’ or where they came from?

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Rugs and carpets move on up at latest staging of London fair

10 February 2020

The latest staging of The London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair was marked by strong sales of carpets and fewer big-ticket sales, according to organiser and exhibitor Aaron Nejad.

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Continuity reveals details of new Bingley Hall event

10 February 2020

As announced in ATG No 2428, Continuity Fairs has taken over the Bingley Hall Antiques Fair, which had been held by IACF at the Staffordshire County Showground from mid-2018 to December 2019.

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Portrait miniature marking naval battle bravery sold in Yorkshire

03 February 2020

This early 19th century portrait miniature offered for sale at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) in Leyburn is widely believed to depict the Irish naval officer Sir Henry D’Esterre Darby (1749-1823). To the reverse is a crystal retaining a lock of hair.

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Global selection offered at Exeter sale

03 February 2020

With an Irish silver ‘seal salver’ gleaming at the first Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (23% buyer’s premium) sale of the year (ATG No 2427), Italy, China and Russia provided other highlights.

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Simple but sophisticated chest boasts ingenious woodworking technique.

03 February 2020

Although outwardly simple objects, cedar ‘bent corner’ chests, still made today by the indigenous people of the Pacific North West, employ a number of sophisticated woodworking techniques.

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English Golden Age longcase clock fails to meet great expectations

03 February 2020

Falling short of ambitious hopes but leading the day at Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) first sale of 2020 was a fine English Golden Age longcase clock.

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French cabinets head to an Eastern buyer

03 February 2020

Among the gems spotted in 2092 mixed lots at Stroud Auctions’ (18% buyer’s premium) year-opener on January 8, the best-seller was the final lot.

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Expanding dining table, candelabra and Chinese export cabinets lead a fine start in Salisbury

27 January 2020

A trio of five-figure offerings got Salisbury auction house Woolley & Wallis (25% buyer’s premium) off to a great start for 2020.

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Kangaroo chair is from Chandigarh project offered in Munich

27 January 2020

In 1952, India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier to design and construct the north Indian city of Chandigarh.

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Striking Russian Empire chairs offered at Petersfield Antiques Fair

20 January 2020

A pair of Russian Empire chairs, 1810-15, featuring striking decorative brass inlay is offered for £25,000 by Ellis Fine Art at the Petersfield Antiques Fair.

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