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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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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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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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.

French boulle cabinets

19th century portrait miniature, French boulle marquetry cabinets and artwork featuring Marlon Brando – six auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week

17 January 2020

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a pair of Napoleon III boulle marquetry cabinets that sold for five-times over estimate and a 19th century portrait miniature that made 13-times estimate.

Extending Jupe dining table

Pick of the week: Ingenious Jupe’s expanding dining table takes £80,000 in New Year opener

13 January 2020

The New Year sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury included one of the most desirable and celebrated of all Victorian furniture types: a mahogany ‘Jupe’s patent’ radially expanding dining table.

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Furniture: Period piece detected in Winchester

06 January 2020

Putting classic English furniture firmly back in the forefront of provincial sales in the first part of December was this Chippendale-design Gainsborough library armchair offered in Winchester by Andrew Smith (21% buyer’s premium).

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Chair’s Elisabeth Frink link

23 December 2019

Items from the estate of the Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-93) were included in the Charterhouse (25% buyer’s premium) sale in Sherborne, Dorset, on November 14-15.

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Seasonal good cheer for BADA specialists after strong sales

16 December 2019

Two leading BADA members have reported strong sales to close out the year.

Jeremy Lamond

Jeremy Lamond conducts last sale at Halls

12 December 2019

Jeremy Lamond’s final auction as Halls’ fine art director took place this week with the annual Christmas sale in Shrewsbury.

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Japanese Meiji period cabinet offered in Maryland sale

09 December 2019

A Japanese Meiji period shibayama inlaid lacquer shodana will feature in the Asian works of art section of Weschler’s Capital Collections auction on December 13 in Rockville, Maryland.

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A second chance to travel with a rare Louis Vuitton trunk

02 December 2019

Collectors who missed out on a rare late 19th century cabin trunk at auction last week have the chance to buy another in West Sussex this coming Friday.

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The web shop window: Gilded 18th century settee

02 December 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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