An eastern European early to mid-20th century marriage chest painted with lovebirds and flowers priced at £950 from John Cornall Antiques in Warwick.

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Folk passion

John Cornall Antiques specialises in folk furniture, a passion for which Cornall, who is also an art critic and writer, discovered when he worked one summer in the 1990s at a friend’s campsite in the Czech Republic.

On his days off he would visit local shops and found a great deal of vibrantly painted furniture which was undervalued, of great quality and widely available.

This led to the establishment of his business which deals in eastern and central European furniture and artefacts.


John Cornall pictured in his Transylvanian shepherd’s cloak which is not for sale as it keeps him warm in his freezing antiques warehouse.

Cornall said: “We’re as busy as ever selling what we are known for. This year we’ve delivered five or six painted marriage cupboards to customers in the UK, France and the US while rustic furniture and early rare furniture has sold well but is hard to find.

“Generally colour, folk art, rustic, peasant art, things with soul and spirit and a sense of uplift are what buyers want.”

Prime location


Cabinets at the Warwick Antiques Centre.

The Warwick Antiques Centre is in a prime location a few minutes from the entrance to the famous castle.

Owner Colin Waite, a retired jeweller, has 30 tenants in his centre which is a well-known business in the town, originally established in 1972 in the nearby high street.

He said the business “is ticking over nicely, although we miss the visitors from China and Japan which fell away during Covid but we’re hopeful of their return. We see plenty of English visitors here.”

Particularly good sellers, said Waite, are glass and jewellery.