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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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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Buyers go large at an encouraging Olympia

15 July 2019

A 2m-wide early 1950s sofa offered for £7000 on the stand of The Modern Warehouse was one of the larger objects attracting buyers at the latest 'Art & Antiques Fair Olympia'.

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Interview: Casting light on bicycle lamps

15 July 2019

Peter Card’s fascination with this niche area stretches to the joy of extensive research

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The late 19th century finds fashion favour

15 July 2019

Pieces from the late 19th century, a vibrant but occasionally derided moment in the history of the decorative arts, provided many of the highlights to Sworders’ (23% buyer’s premium) summer Fine Interiors sale in Stansted Montfitchet on June 25-26.

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George II table takes £17,500 and Churchill letters get away

15 July 2019

As a reminder of the days when a piece of quality furniture could be expected to top a wide-ranging provincial sale, a George II giltwood and gesso occasional table led the way at Dawson’s (20% buyer’s premium) 550-lot event in Maidenhead.

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Glass birds and Mouseman sell in North Yorkshire

15 July 2019

The demand for 1960s Pulcini glass birds made by Alessandro Pianon (1931-64) for the Venetian company Vistosi has spiked in recent months.

Louis XV candelabra

Seven highlights from Christie’s sale of a Rothschild collection

11 July 2019

Christie’s sale Masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection was arguably the most eye-catching auction of the summer season in London.

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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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The web shop window: Victorian hall stand

08 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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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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Church gates lead to bidding battles in two salerooms

01 July 2019

In market terms, ecclesiastical gates are not the subject of mass appeal but examples by major 19th century designers certainly had their devotees at two June sales.

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Talisman owner takes a break

01 July 2019

Talisman, the large King’s Road emporium of antiques and interiors , is marking its final months with 50% off all stock. Owner Ken Bolan kicked off the sale earlier this month and it continues until doors finally close on the shop on July 31.

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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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Sofa table suited to current tastes

24 June 2019

Other than davenports, few pieces of functional antique furniture fell farther down the price ladder during the slump than sofa tables but the examples here bucked the fashion at Moore Allen & Innocent (20% buyer’s premium) of Cirencester.

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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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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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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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