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.


Porcelain propaganda plate

Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Soviet propaganda plate

22 February 2021

With estimates from £400-2000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.

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Seventy-five mirror bids in the frame

22 February 2021

On a day when furniture and antiques proved to be particularly popular, the surprise star of Fellows’ (23% buyer’s premium) 740-lot online sale was an Italian 19th century pier mirror.

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Gainsborough chair is sitting pretty at Locke & England auction

15 February 2021

Although now known as Gainsborough chairs, generous walnut and upholstered armchairs were often referred to by contemporaries as ‘French’ chairs, as the most elaborate styles were based on French rococo.

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Major Deco names make big prices in Paris

15 February 2021

The Gros & Delettrez (30% buyer’s premium) auction of Art Deco held in Paris on January 22 offered works from the collection of a gallery owner.

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True blue: Hokusai uncovered

08 February 2021

Although catalogued as ‘a 19th century Japanese woodblock print’, the signature to a scene of a boat with Mount Fuji beyond gave a clue to its creator.

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Group of Wiener Werkstätte silverware shines alongside Knox and luxury liner relic

08 February 2021

American pieces understandably dominated the Rago (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) early 20th century Design sale in Lambertville, New Jersey, on January 21.

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London laid out across four panels

08 February 2021

This mahogany and parcel gilt four-fold English screen featured at Doyle (26/21/15% buyer’s premium) in New York on January 21.

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No public view? No worries…

08 February 2021

Despite lockdown restrictions Bonhams' traditional Oak Interior offerings performed very well

Antique Gainsborough chair

Gainsborough chair stars in our weekly pick of five auction highlights

05 February 2021

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a Gainsborough chair from c.1750 that went over five times over estimate.

Cabinet and commode by Jules Leleu

Auction fireworks for Jules Leleu Art Deco furniture

01 February 2021

Sworders’ latest Design sale held live online included a collection of work by Jules Leleu (1883-1961).

Victorian walnut desk

Victorian kidney-shaped desk and a Cromwellian gold medal are among five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

29 January 2021

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a Victorian walnut and tulipwood kidney-form desk that made over five-times estimate.

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Apter-Fredericks sale a ‘shot in the arm’ for furniture market

25 January 2021

The market for antique furniture received a welcome boost last week with Christie’s sale titled Apter-Fredericks 75 Years of Important English Furniture.

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Royal Medical Service hopes to raise £15,500 to secure medicine cabinet linked to Lord Nelson’s surgeon Sir William Beatty

21 January 2021

Members of the Royal Medical Service hope to raise funding to purchase a medicine cabinet that has been linked to Lord Nelson’s surgeon Sir William Beatty.

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Waterfall bookcases flow well at auction

18 January 2021

The sale at W&H Peacock (17.5% buyer’s premium) in Bedford on January 1 included, estimated at £200-300, this pair of mahogany waterfall-style bookcases.

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A true mouse man carving comes to auction in Yorkshire

11 January 2021

The highlight of a private collection of Robert Thompson oak carvings to be offered by Tennants on March 6 is this curious anthropomorphic figure of the ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’.

Theodore Deck pottery

Orientalist basin, mahogany bookcases, Arts and Crafts oak chest – five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

08 January 2021

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a rare Orientalist basin by the French ‘father of art pottery’ and a pair of mahogany bookcases that went 16 times over estimate.

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Roentgen cabinets draw bidders in Germany

04 January 2021

Cologne auction house offers fine selection of 18th century works made by both father and son

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‘From a royal palace’ to family bathroom in Hull house

21 December 2020

Bristol auction house sells mirror with an intriguing link to Marie Antoinette

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CADA dealers serve up a treat

21 December 2020

The Cotswold Art Antiques Dealers Association (CADA) has dubbed its Christmas campaign ‘A Table is Not Just for Christmas’, using its website and social media platforms to promote its members’ offerings.

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Mouseman 'critters' chip in with their own creations

21 December 2020

Furniture by Robert ‘Mouseman' Thompson and more recent productions from the Kilburn workshop attracted the usual enthusiasm at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium).

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