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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Paris auctions move back into action as Sotheby’s announce single-owner sale

08 July 2019

In September the Paris auction scene wakes up from its long summer slumber to get back into action for the approaching autumn and winter season.

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Dealer serves up a loan to tea exhibition

08 July 2019

A Henry Clay polychrome tea caddy, c.1785, in the manner of Robert Adam is among the pieces lent by dealer Mark Goodger of Hampton Antiques to be featured in Compton Verney Art Gallery’s exhibition A Tea Journey: From the mountains to the table.

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Brass bound to sell

24 June 2019

The fitted interior of this William & Mary casket, below, was later but its fine brass-bound marquetry exterior with hidden lock mechanism made it the most eye-catching lot at Mallams’ (22.5% buyer’s premium) auction in Cheltenham on June 6.

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Howard comfortably unearthed

24 June 2019

Featuring in the same two-day auction as a £7000 cache of Beatrix Potter ephemera found in a Cumbrian Victorian villa which had made national headlines, this less-heralded sofa impressed at 1818 Auctioneers (17.5% buyer’s premium).

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Cohray’s handmade modernism

24 June 2019

In the 1950s French designer Raymond Cohen and his firm Cohray were producing a range of ultra-modern furniture that – although made for the machine age – were all put together by hand.

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East meets West in £11,500 cabinet

24 June 2019

The resurgent interest in quality Japanese material and the slower revival of English furniture were both evident in a cabinet on stand sold at West Sussex auction house Toovey’s (24.5% buyer’s premium).

Chippendale

Victoria and Albert Museum acquires Chippendale's Harewood House pier tables and mirrors for the nation

18 June 2019

A set of pier tables and mirrors from the Thomas Chippendale workshop has been accepted in lieu for the nation and allocated to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Chippendale sits comfortably at Masterpiece London

17 June 2019

When Sir Robert Burdett (1716-97), 4th Baron Bramcote, undertook the remodelling of his early 18th century home Foremarke Hall from 1759-62, he contracted Thomas Chippendale to refurnish the house. The cabinet maker – one of several employed in the project – was paid around £1000 for the giltwood seating furniture which is thought to have included at least 10 elbow chairs, two window seats and a sofa.

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Rediscovering ‘Good Design’ at Kensington Church Street show

17 June 2019

'What Happened to Good Design', a summer selling exhibition at Hill House in Kensington Church Street, was inspired by a show at design shop Heal’s in 1982 of the same name. It offers works from the Arts & Crafts period and beyond.

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Previews : £30,000 plus

17 June 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Chest attributed to Flemish-born London maker Gerrit Jensen tops furniture from Worcestershire manor

17 June 2019

A consignment of furniture from the medieval Eastington Hall, Worcestershire, boosted Chorley’s (20% buyer’s premium) latest sale in Prinknash Abbey, Gloucestershire.

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The web shop window: Sicilian giltwood casket from Anthony Outred

10 June 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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Label fits the bill as Oxfordshire dealer sells cupboard by John Coxed

03 June 2019

A chinoiserie corner cupboard bearing the paper trade label of the Queen Anne furniture maker John Coxed has been sold by Oxfordshire dealership Alexander George Fine Antiques.

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Early oak takes root in spring

27 May 2019

One of the best pieces of early oak at spring provincial sales was an17th century carved oak mural livery cupboard sold at Henry Adams (20% buyer’s premium) of Chichester.

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Exceptional farmhouse table brings excellent price

27 May 2019

Catalogued as ‘exceptional’, this farmhouse refectory table fulfilled the auctioneer’s adjective in more than one way at Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) sale in Dorchester on April 26.

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Brandt Art Deco table on offer in LA

13 May 2019

A 23in (58.5cm) diameter Art Deco table by the designer Edgar Brandt has been consigned to the two-day Design for the Home and Garden auction to be held by Andrew Jones in Los Angeles on May 18-19.

Settee

Sofa where Edward Prince of Wales met Wallis Simpson comes to auction in Northamptonshire

08 May 2019

The 'love seat' said to have played a part in the abdication crisis of 1936 is to be offered at auction this week at Humbert & Ellis.

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Table topper at Battersea decorative fair

06 May 2019

A c.1946 Italian wrought-iron dressing table was among the stand-out sales during the spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea.

Bacon screen

Four works by Francis Bacon worth £3m barred from export by government in hope of keeping them in the UK

29 April 2019

The government is hoping to find a buyer for four works - three rugs and a painted screen - by Francis Bacon (1909-92) in the hope of keeping them in the country.

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Stamp denotes Parisian origin

29 April 2019

This highly elaborate chest of drawers decorated in boulle marquetry technique with a variety of different figural and foliate motifs featured in the furniture session of a sale at Hampel (29.5% buyer’s premium) in Munich on March 28.

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