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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Room for manoeuvre at Battersea Decorative

08 April 2019

A French Art Nouveau mahogany drop-front writing bureau, c.1925, is among the objects featured in a special exhibition at the spring edition of the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea.

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The web shop window - Victorian chair from Wick Antiques

01 April 2019

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

Stamford

Golding Young & Mawer to sell Stamford dealer 800-lot collection without reserve

28 March 2019

Lincolnshire auctioneer Golding Young & Mawer is to sell the stock and personal collections of Stamford-based antiques dealers Gavin Burns and his son Ross later this month, following their retirement from the business in December 2018.

Dalí lamps

Salvador Dalí’s surrealist ‘champagne’ lamps designed for West Sussex home bought by V&A Museum

19 March 2019

A pair of ‘champagne’ lamps designed by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí has been bought by the Victoria and Albert Museum and will be reunited with Dalí’s Mae West Lips sofa.

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Candlestand bought at auction reunited with pair at York museum after half a century apart

18 March 2019

A pair of rare George II rosewood candlestands c.1745-60 has been reunited by Fairfax House in York after one of them was spotted at a Woolley & Wallis auction at the start of the year.

Dulwich school

The Midcentury Modern fair in Dulwich is ageing well: a picture special

18 March 2019

If anyone doubted the continuing popularity of Scandinavian mid-century design, a visit to the Midcentury Modern fair at Dulwich College, London would set them straight. ATG went along to take the temperature among dealers and buyers.

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Previews: £30,000 plus

18 March 2019

A selection of post-war Italian pieces from the interiors of Casa Lucano, a large apartment in Milan designed by Gio Ponti in 1951, will be offered in a joint auction by Phillips and Italian auction house Cambi in London on March 21.

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Pick of the week: Sumptuous marquetry table cabinet makes its mark at Fonsie Mealy auction

11 March 2019

Although catalogued as 18th century, this marquetry table cabinet – sold for a multi-estimate sum in Ireland last week – is more probably late 16th or early 17th century.

Gio Ponti chest of drawers

Phillips to offer 1950s interior furnishings by Gio Ponti from Milan apartment

11 March 2019

A 30-lot sale of furniture from an apartment designed in 1951 by the celebrated and multi-talented Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti is to go under the hammer on March 21 in London.

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Howard furniture keeps on a high at auction

11 March 2019

Never wholly out of demand since top Victorian upholsterer Howard & Sons began producing furniture from its Soho premises, these built-for-comfort sofas and armchairs continue to excel whenever offered at auction.

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Previews: £30,000 plus

11 March 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Basic quality shines through in Ely

11 March 2019

This early 18th century walnut chest of drawers offered at Rowley’s (22.5% buyer’s premium) Ely rooms on February 16 had plenty going for it including small size at 2ft 8in (81cm) wide, a crossbanded top and a brushing slide.

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Stuart needlework adds rarity to mirror at Vogel sale

25 February 2019

This 2ft (60cm) high Charles II needlework looking glass worked with figures and fantastical beasts emblematic of the seasons was estimated at $10,000-15,000 but sold at $80,000 (£61,500) in the Vogel collection auction at Sotheby's New York.

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Welsh antiques dealer enhances contemporary art show with loan of traditional furniture

20 February 2019

A 19th century Welsh oak bureau is among the furniture that Carmarthenshire dealer Tim Bowen has lent to enhance a local exhibition on creativity.

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Revived auction house Hutchinson Scott powers forward

18 February 2019

After re-booting the moribund firm of Hutchinson Scott (20% buyer’s premium) in 2016, former dealers Michael Scott and Paul Hodson have now bought their premises at Embsay Mill at Skipton.

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Fontainebleau auction to offer Napoleonic chair

18 February 2019

This Empire-period gilt throne or ceremonial chair, measuring 3ft 11in (1.2m) high and 2ft 3in (76cm) wide, is one of the highlights of an April 7 sale of historic artefacts and memorabilia titled l’Empire à Fontainebleau.

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Furniture takes centre stage at annual Cotswolds event

14 February 2019

A William and Mary period oyster veneered laburnum and chest of drawers is among the huge selection of furniture on offer in the Cotswolds next week.

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Mirror on offer in Stuttgart is looking good in ornate gilt frame

11 February 2019

Among the many decorative works of art in Nagel’s sale in Stuttgart on February 27-28 is this 3ft 8in (1.12m) high mirror in an ornately carved gilt frame.

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Thonet furniture takes mixed response at Cologne auction

11 February 2019

Comprehensive collection amassed over 30 years attracts very choosy buyers at auction.

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Rare Dresser armchair made for Art Furnishers’ Alliance makes 70-times estimate at auction

28 January 2019

This Aesthetic movement X-frame armchair took £11,000 against an estimate of just £100-150 at Lawrences of Crewkerne.

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