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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Pick of the week: Figurehead full of canine quality points way to £52,000 result at Charles Miller auction

13 May 2019

A carving of a deerhound which once adorned a 19th century yacht more than doubled the house record for a figurehead at a Charles Miller auction in west London. The item sold for £52,000 had a royal connection but it was the quality and condition which secured the high price, said Miller.

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Fragment from Roman period sarcophagus – an example of very early recycling

13 May 2019

Although the antiquities market is more stringently regulated than ever before, the possibility of illicit material continues to cause concern for collectors of antiquities. This places a greater financial value on pieces with long watertight provenances.

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Salerooms aim to create a home from home when dispersing traditional country house contents

13 May 2019

With ‘on the premises’ country house contents sales now so rare, the more usual practice is for the better pieces to be removed to saleroom bases.

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Brandt Art Deco table on offer in LA

13 May 2019

A 23in (58.5cm) diameter Art Deco table by the designer Edgar Brandt has been consigned to the two-day Design for the Home and Garden auction to be held by Andrew Jones in Los Angeles on May 18-19.

Settee

Sofa where Edward Prince of Wales met Wallis Simpson comes to auction in Northamptonshire

08 May 2019

The 'love seat' said to have played a part in the abdication crisis of 1936 is to be offered at auction this week at Humbert & Ellis.

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Table topper at Battersea decorative fair

06 May 2019

A c.1946 Italian wrought-iron dressing table was among the stand-out sales during the spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea.

side tables

Italian side tables, Horatio Nelson prints and Chinese jades – six auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week

03 May 2019

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights over the past week includes a pair of North Italian side tables from a distinguished collection and a group of prints relating to Lord Horatio Nelson.

Bacon screen

Four works by Francis Bacon worth £3m barred from export by government in hope of keeping them in the UK

29 April 2019

The government is hoping to find a buyer for four works - three rugs and a painted screen - by Francis Bacon (1909-92) in the hope of keeping them in the country.

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Garden antiques set to bloom at Suffolk dealer's selling event

29 April 2019

This cast-metal figure of a young girl with a bird on her arm, below, is offered on a composition base for £325 from English and Continental Antiques.

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ATG letter: Giacomo Herman cabinet must stay in UK

29 April 2019

Copy of a letter sent to Jeremy Wright MP, secretary of state for culture, concerning the temporary export ban placed on a 350-year-old cabinet by Baroque artisan Giacomo Herman in the hope a buyer can be found to keep it in the UK (see ATG No 2388):

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Stamp denotes Parisian origin

29 April 2019

This highly elaborate chest of drawers decorated in boulle marquetry technique with a variety of different figural and foliate motifs featured in the furniture session of a sale at Hampel (29.5% buyer’s premium) in Munich on March 28.

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Casket was born in Bethlehem

29 April 2019

The extensive spring sale at Schuler (20/18.6/16.6% buyer’s premium) in Zurich lasted from March 18-22. The results were as varied as the works of art on offer.

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Five places to see, buy and celebrate Bauhaus on its centenary

27 April 2019

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus art school and, from attending special events to buying a piece of its influential design, there are plenty of ways to mark the centenary.

Flemish cabinets

Spanish Royal cabinets and Marie Antoinette’s writing table to be offered as part of Rothschild collection at Christie’s

25 April 2019

Furniture, works of art and Old Master paintings collected by members of the famous Rothschild banking family are to be offered for auction by Christie’s in London as part of its summer season sales.

Poul Henningsen’s grand piano

“I designed something entirely new” – early 1930s glass grand piano draws attention in Paris sale

22 April 2019

A Modernist grand piano from 1931 by the Danish designer Poul Henningsen was the toast of a dedicated Scandinavian design sale held by Artcurial in Paris.

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South German chalice displays history and workmanship deserving of museum quality status

19 April 2019

Despite the general controversy about the material – one that has momentarily taken a back seat as Brexit eats parliamentary time – an exceptional ivory work of art still has the capacity to impress in the saleroom.

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Great names of design from Ashbee to Dresser draw interest at Edinburgh sale

19 April 2019

Something of a roll call for the great and good across the British 19th-20th century arts scene, Lyon & Turnbull’s (25% buyer’s premium) Decorative Arts: Design Since 1860 sale included such names as George Washington Jack, Sir Alfred Gilbert, Christopher Dresser, William de Morgan and Robert Bartlett.

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Exceptional Tunbridge workbox makes £6500

19 April 2019

Meeting all the criteria for Tunbridge ware collectors, this workbox on stand below was one of the top buys at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s (19.5% buyer’s premium) sale at Taunton on April 4.

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The web shop window: English architectural dog’s house

19 April 2019

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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Dealer on a high from low oak chairs

19 April 2019

This pair of 19th century Arts & Crafts low oak chairs is available from Elaine Phillips Antiques at the next edition of The Pavilions of Harrogate Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair priced at £1150.

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