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.


The wow factor: remainder of remarkable Getty collection comes up in New York

15 January 2024

Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, will sell the remainder of the remarkable Ann and Gordon Getty collection in two forthcoming sales.


A corking vernacular selection on offer in South Yorkshire saleroom

15 January 2024

A large collection of corkscrews and all things vernacular were major features of the two-day sale held by Wilkinson’s (20% buyer’s premium) in Doncaster.


Gobelins pietra dura panel picked out at six figures at Paris auction

15 January 2024

It was in the hope of saving on the huge sums spent procuring works of art from abroad that Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s minister of finance, began inviting craftsmen to work at the Gobelins royal manufactory on the outskirts of Paris.

Furniture book

Extensive furniture book library on display in Leeds

12 January 2024

A major collection of books on furniture from the late dealer John Bedford are on display as part of a new exhibition at the University of Leeds.

blue john vases

Six lots from upcoming auction of ‘legendary’ dealer’s collection

10 January 2024

Maurice ‘Dick’ Turpin (1928-2005) was one of the best known antiques dealers of his day.

Regency side cabinet

Six highlights selling at Dreweatts’ auction of artist’s collection

09 January 2024

Items from the private collection of contemporary artist Pablo Bronstein (b.1977) formed a 289-lot dedicated sale at Dreweatts in Newbury.


Grotesque proves attractive when it comes to Martinware

08 January 2024

Latest ceramics sales demonstrate how Martinware demand has moved on beyond Wally Birds


Chest chimes with Harrogate fair

08 January 2024

A late 17th century moulded chest with bone inlays is among the offerings from a new exhibitor at this month’s Pavilions of Harrogate Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair.


Dagobert Peche chandelier proves leading light at auction

08 January 2024

Only a few months after several ornamental pieces of silver by the Viennese designer Dagobert Peche, one of the leading lights of the Wiener Werkstätte, caused a sensation in Düsseldorf (ATG No 2613, the auction house Kinsky (28% buyer’s premium) achieved an impressive result for a work by him.

Yomut Asmalyk carpet

Carpets galore in a German saleroom

08 January 2024

A German collector consigned 28 carpets for the November 25 sale at Rippon Boswell (25% buyer’s premium) in Wiesbaden.

Louis XVI gilt walnut chair

Marie-Antoinette’s chair sets an auction record

02 January 2024

Among the star attractions at the 60-lot evening sale of works from the collection of Hubert Guerrand-Hermès (1940-2016) at Sotheby’s Paris was a carved and regilded Louis XVI chair.


Romney screen stands out as an unusual offering

02 January 2024

Bonhams’ (28/27% buyer’s premium) latest Old Master sale at its New Bond Street rooms was hard going, with almost half the lots unsold and two-thirds of those that did get away either going on or below their low estimate.


Komai casket demonstrates Meiji metalwork at its very best

02 January 2024

The Komai family of sword makers and armourers were among the many Japanese metalworkers courting a new clientele during the Meiji period (1868-1912).


Regency sofas with a rich provenance

18 December 2023

The Fine & Decorative Interiors sale at The Pedestal (25% buyer’s premium) included a pair of Regency white painted and gilt sofas with a rich provenance.


Ashbee name is key to piano case appeal

11 December 2023

A recently rediscovered version of one of the best-known Guild of Handicraft designs is up for sale at Sworders.


Obituary: furniture specialist Tobias Jellinek (1934-2023)

11 December 2023

Tobias Jellinek – part of the generation of British vernacular furniture scholars that sought to unpick the work of fakers, fantasists and embellishers in the less scrupulous days of antiques dealing – has died.


The web shop window: Aesthetic Movement fireplace

11 December 2023

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


Table cover for a French king’s naughtiness

04 December 2023

On December 12 in Paris the auction firm Pescheteau-Badin will be offering this writing table that belonged to Louis XV.


Classic French cabinet commissioned by Louis XV

04 December 2023

A piece of French cabinetmaking with a provenance to Louis XV came up for sale on November 25 at SGL enchères (26.4% buyer’s premium inc tax).

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Top stories this week including news of exceptional English chairs emerging in US

03 December 2023

The most viewed stories on this website over the last week included news of a fine pair of 18th century English chairs making a six-figure sum in Asheville, North Carolina.