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.


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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

Piano

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

Regency sofas

Regency sofas star in our pick of five auction highlights

01 December 2023

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a pair of Regency painted and gilt sofas with a rich provenance that made over three-times estimate in Oxfordshire.

George III giltwood armchairs

Exceptional English chairs emerge in US

27 November 2023

A fine pair of 18th century English chairs sold for $120,000 (£100,000) in Asheville, North Carolina, on November 16-18.

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Early chair by Eames team shows that detail counts when it comes to value

27 November 2023

In the Mid-century market, the devil is in the detail.

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Strong box thought to be the work of Gerrit Jensen

27 November 2023

Like many English joiners of the period, not a great deal is known about the private life of Gerrit Jensen.

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Pilkington’s ceramics provide good starter for North Yorkshire auction

27 November 2023

A 43-lot private collection of Pilkington’s ceramics from Manchester opened Tennants’ (24/22% buyer’s premium) sale of 20th century design held in Leyburn on October 7.

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Imperial power told through a £110,000 hardwood chest

20 November 2023

A Chinese ‘dragon’ box fashioned in the prized Asian wood zitan sold for £110,000 at Sworders (25% buyer’s premium) on November 3.

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Mid Century art and design show market strengths in upstate New York sale

20 November 2023

Line Vautrin (1913-97) began her career selling her cast metal jewellery door-to-door.

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Korean screen heads to US institution at £175,000

20 November 2023

This 18th century Korean eight-panel screen depicts a subject borrowed from Ming prototypes: a banquet honouring the famed Tang dynasty general Guo Ziyi.

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Egg breaks out of hotel confines

13 November 2023

Famous chair created as just an edition of 50 went on to become signature product of Danish design house

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Penguin bookshelf on offer at Bedford auction

13 November 2023

The Penguin Bookshelf was a collaboration between Penguin Books and the London furniture-maker Beaver and Tapley. The design was debuted to retailers at the 1955 Furniture Exhibition when something close to 3000 orders were placed.

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Howard & Sons sitting comfortably

13 November 2023

Chairs and sofas by Howard & Sons are a pricey niche market these days, largely immune to the varying fortunes of the wider market for Victorian and Edwardian furniture.

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Interiors: Put on a road show

13 November 2023

The dealer ‘hub’ of Lillie Road is renowned among interior designers but now is the time to spread the word

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