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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The sound of a William and Mary spinet sold for £5500 in Islington

19 August 2019

Relatively few English spinets from the 17th century survive but one surfaced at a Criterion auction in Islington. Loosely catalogued and estimated at just £100-200, it made £5500 (plus premium).

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Wainscot chair with top quality

19 August 2019

Better by a distance than nine similar items, a mid-17th century wainscot chair offered by Lawrences (25% buyer’s premium) in Crewkerne demonstrated the yawning price gap between the acceptable and the desirable in the early oak market.

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The web shop window: English silver-plated student lamps

19 August 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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Contents of grand Cotswolds home create auction result right at the top of expectations

12 August 2019

Private buying dominated as Essex saleroom Sworders (23% buyer’s premium) offered the selected contents of a Cotswold manor house.

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Plenty of quality from BADA member of 46 years

12 August 2019

The personal enthusiasm of John Braund of Turpin’s Antiques, who died in January aged 90, was early oak and associated metalware.

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William Morris Gallery launches Bauhaus exhibition fundraising campaign

08 August 2019

An exhibition exploring links between William Morris and Bauhaus, two of the most important names in the last 150 years of design, is set to launch in London provided enough money is raised.

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Medieval oak sculpture collection goes on public display in Derbyshire for the first time

06 August 2019

A Derbyshire family will host a new exhibition showing a private collection of medieval sculptures in Haddon Hall in Bakewell this autumn.

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The web shop window: Chippendale-period partner’s desk

05 August 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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Bauhaus: Breuer name boosts furniture sale appeal

05 August 2019

One the most productive Bauhaus furniture designers was the Hungarian-born Marcel Breuer (1902-81). From 1925-28 he was in charge of the so-called interior workshop at the design school.

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Twentieth century furniture tempts buyers

05 August 2019

There’s no doubt that items from some of the ‘eureka’ moments in Victorian design are falling away from the collecting zeitgeist. The current fashion is undoubtedly towards the creative ideas of the second half of the 20th century.

François-Xavier Lalanne’s ‘Rhinocrétaire’ (Rhinodesk)

Personal collection of French designers Les Lalannes consigned to Sotheby’s

27 July 2019

Sotheby’s has announced a major sale in Paris this autumn of works from the personal collection of the celebrated French designers François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne.

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Lost to the nation: Newbattle Abbey casket and John Singer Sargent painting are among latest treasures cleared for export

26 July 2019

The Newbattle Abbey Kunstkammer is the latest work of art to be granted an export licence this year, despite the arts minister’s attempts to retain them for the nation.

Georgian mahogany bookcase

Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Georgian bookcase, Victorian brooch and a portrait of a poet

22 July 2019

With estimates from £200-8000, here are five previews from upcoming sales this week.

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The web shop window: Ornate ash armoire with a mysterious past

22 July 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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Scandi style sweeps in to the third Cooper Cotswolds fair

22 July 2019

A prime example of mid-century Scandinavian furniture is offered at the Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Art Fair next month by dealer Roger Burgett of Scandinavian by Design.

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Italian 'wave' lounge chairs offered in Los Angeles

22 July 2019

This pair of c.1970s Italian Onda (Wave) lounge chairs in chrome and leather designed by Giovanni Offredi for Saporiti Italia will feature in the Downtown Los Angeles Collections and Estates auction to be held on Sunday, July 28, by the Andrew Jones auction house.

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Regions enjoy the fruits of solid English oak

22 July 2019

A 17th century oak panel marking the rebuilding of one of the best-known dwellings on the Chester Rows sold at auction last week for £4600.

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How a saleroom can get into the right groove to offer an amphibious vehicle and a 12m sofa

17 July 2019

As an auction house, what sale format do you squeeze an amphibious vehicle or a 12m long sofa into? When it comes to the ‘weird and wonderful’, auctioneers often face a challenge.

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Rising market for Mouseman as bookends sell for £10,000

15 July 2019

A rare pair of bookends by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson attracted huge interest and a remarkable £10,000 winning bid at Lawrences of Crewkerne.

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Palace of Versailles buys back €4m rococo commode from US collector

15 July 2019

A Louis XV period rococo commode made in 1744 for the Château de Versailles has returned home after more than 30 years out of France.

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