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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Early BADA 2019 sales augur well for London fair

25 March 2019

A pair of early George III carved walnut Gainsborough chairs, c.1765, were among the early highlight sales at BADA 2019. Offered from the stand of Richard Courtney in excellent original condition, they sold for a price in the region of £70,000.

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Please sir, it was the Eton boys

25 March 2019

A piece of recycled wood used to make an Arts & Crafts reading table on offer at WR Harvey has been revealed to contain the names of mischievous boys from Eton College.

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Pedestal steps up to new level

25 March 2019

Dealer’s collection makes up first single-owner sale run by former Christie’s expert.

Dalí lamps

Salvador Dalí’s surrealist ‘champagne’ lamps designed for West Sussex home bought by V&A Museum

19 March 2019

A pair of ‘champagne’ lamps designed by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí has been bought by the Victoria and Albert Museum and will be reunited with Dalí’s Mae West Lips sofa.

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Berlin Wall fragments sell in West Sussex auction

19 March 2019

Two fragments of the Berlin Wall once used in a memorial to those killed in escape attempts sold for a combined hammer total of £17,000 at an auction in West Sussex last week.

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Candlestand bought at auction reunited with pair at York museum after half a century apart

18 March 2019

A pair of rare George II rosewood candlestands c.1745-60 has been reunited by Fairfax House in York after one of them was spotted at a Woolley & Wallis auction at the start of the year.

Dulwich school

The Midcentury Modern fair in Dulwich is ageing well: a picture special

18 March 2019

If anyone doubted the continuing popularity of Scandinavian mid-century design, a visit to the Midcentury Modern fair at Dulwich College, London would set them straight. ATG went along to take the temperature among dealers and buyers.

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LARTA Fair sales include textiles from east and west

18 March 2019

A c.1710 English hunting scene embroidered in deep green crewel work and offered for £1800 by Meg Andrews Antique Costumes & Textiles was one of the stand-out sales at The London Antique Rug and Textile Art Fair (LARTA).

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Previews: £30,000 plus

18 March 2019

A selection of post-war Italian pieces from the interiors of Casa Lucano, a large apartment in Milan designed by Gio Ponti in 1951, will be offered in a joint auction by Phillips and Italian auction house Cambi in London on March 21.

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Pick of the week: Sumptuous marquetry table cabinet makes its mark at Fonsie Mealy auction

11 March 2019

Although catalogued as 18th century, this marquetry table cabinet – sold for a multi-estimate sum in Ireland last week – is more probably late 16th or early 17th century.

Gio Ponti chest of drawers

Phillips to offer 1950s interior furnishings by Gio Ponti from Milan apartment

11 March 2019

A 30-lot sale of furniture from an apartment designed in 1951 by the celebrated and multi-talented Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti is to go under the hammer on March 21 in London.

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Indo-Portuguese table cabinet in Edinburgh auction underlines market demand

11 March 2019

Underlined by a £65,000 bid for a table cabinet, the attraction of Indo-Portuguese furniture – that combines familiar European forms with the exotic lure of the East – is as strong today as it was in centuries past.

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Buyers take Paul Reeves dealer name as mark of quality

11 March 2019

Some buyers regard sales of dealers’ stock as a minus on the grounds that the lots have been ‘seen’. Others view them as a plus, reckoning the material has already been the choice of an expert.

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Wealth of East India Company evident at auction

11 March 2019

The wealth of material brought back to Britain from the days of the East India Company was illustrated at John Nicholson’s (24% buyer’s premium) sale when four Indo-Portuguese or Anglo-Indian tortoiseshell and ivory works were consigned by different vendors.

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Howard furniture keeps on a high at auction

11 March 2019

Never wholly out of demand since top Victorian upholsterer Howard & Sons began producing furniture from its Soho premises, these built-for-comfort sofas and armchairs continue to excel whenever offered at auction.

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Previews: £30,000 plus

11 March 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Basic quality shines through in Ely

11 March 2019

This early 18th century walnut chest of drawers offered at Rowley’s (22.5% buyer’s premium) Ely rooms on February 16 had plenty going for it including small size at 2ft 8in (81cm) wide, a crossbanded top and a brushing slide.

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Table with a naughty side

11 March 2019

A jumble of names scratched into a piece of oak by naughty children (or possibly adults) has been discovered on the underside of an antique table in the latest exhibition at WR Harvey in Witney.

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Winter auction greeted with warm response

04 March 2019

The plethora of single-collection sales at the start of the year was not at the expense of old-fashioned auctions offering good-quality offerings across the range of dealing and collecting – such as the Winter Fine Arts sale at Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) of Dorchester.

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Revivalist furniture full of life at auction

04 March 2019

Regarded in their time as examples of the finest cabinet-making rather than simply reproductions, good 19th century French revivalist furniture remains in demand.

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