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.

Furniture buyers bid on only the better pieces

19 February 2001

American connection revolutionises a jug’s prospects UK: LOOKING at current trends in the furniture market, auctioneer Patrick Toynbee remarked on the reluctance among buyers for “run of the mill” pieces, with the preference now being for high-quality attractive pieces.

Heraldic table draws big buyers to church hall

19 February 2001

UK: THERE was no doubting the piece that drew major buyers to this event at St Barnabas Church hall – the flamboyant early 19th century heraldic Italian table.

Trade pushed to top bids by keen collectors

19 February 2001

UK: THE scarcity of good-quality, untouched country furniture, even in such rich fields as Oxfordshire, and the increasingly selective attitude of bidders – becoming “more selective by the sale”, according to Mallams auctioneer Ben Lloyd – are causes of concern for auctioneers across the country.

Early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table

12 February 2001

UK: Emblazoned with the full armorial of the Strutt and Galton families, this early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table stole the limelight at Short, Graham & Co.’s sale in Gloucester on January 23.

An exotic blend for coffee

05 February 2001

UK: IT WAS standard case furniture: tables and other useful pieces of mahogany that made much of the running in the 224-lot sale of furniture held by Christie's South Kensington on January 10, topped at £12,000 by a good Georgian library bookcase from a private deceased estate.

Early oak specialists touch base at £10,000

05 February 2001

UK: EARLY oak remains one of the most selective markets but when a piece is right, like this 17th century dresser base, right, offered at the Cheltenham branch of Mallams (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 14, it will bring specialists running.

For putting away

05 February 2001

UK: To some people it may just be another brown wardrobe, c.1900, with a bit of fancy moulding, mounting and carving, but to players of the game called golf it is a precious, possibly unique, artefact that speaks fondly of an enduring obsession.

£14,000 tables to choosy bidders’ tastes

05 February 2001

UK: A SUBSTANTIAL offering of furniture, most of it 19th century and brown, received a mixed response from the Scottish and North of England trade at the last Phillips sale in Edinburgh before Christmas.

Queen Anne bureau bookcase

01 February 2001

UK: Early walnut is all about colour and choice of veneer, and this Queen Anne bureau bookcase 7ft 10in high by 5ft 9in wide (2.38 x 1.06) scored highly on both counts at the Partridge Green salerooms of Rupert Toovey on January 19.

A Parisienne takes a provincial promenade

29 January 2001

FRANCE: A LOUIS XVI mahogany gueridon with three scrolled legs, stamped Molitor, sold to the French trade in Dijon on December 9 for Fr1.6m (£150,000), five times estimate – even though the table was in indifferent condition, having been recovered from a local attic.

Clean linen press tops Devon day

22 January 2001

UK: THE most prominent entry to this monthly two-day sale in Devon was an early 19th century linen press had come from a South Coast farmhouse.

Early 17th century Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top

19 December 2000

A protracted telephone duel saw this striking early 17th century, Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top go from a starting bid of £500,000 to a final price of £1,030,000 to top Sotheby’s Continental Furniture sale in London on December 13.

Tek Sing – proof that the Internet can work

04 December 2000

IN a week that has seen the NASDAQ plummet and general gloom settle over the dotcom world, the massive Tek Sing cargo sale has shown that the Internet can play an extremely useful role in the international auction scene.

Regency giltwood chair

27 November 2000

This Regency giltwood chair may have been one of the largest hearing aids ever built, but it was intended to serve the same purpose as the smallest, mobile device: disguising the disablity and sparing the dignity of the listener.

Stone model of a recumbent cow

09 October 2000

UK: THE Thames-side meadows at Christopher Gibbs’ Manor House in Oxfordshire contained a number of pieces of classical statuary with important provenances, but none proved so valuable as this unheralded stone model of a recumbent cow.

George II mahogany hall chair

02 October 2000

UK: The first celebrity house sale of the new millennium took place last week near Clifton Hampden in Oxfordshire, where noted aesthete and furnisher to the stars Christopher Gibbs was clearing his Victorian manor house under the auspices of Christie’s.

One-hit wonder?

02 October 2000

UK: DEVON dealers J. Collins & Son are well known for their stock of functional period furniture, but looking through their new catalogue of recent acquisitions most would be hard pressed to spot the exact function of the extraordinary piece pictured here.

Fine Queen Anne walnut bachelor's chest

25 September 2000

UK: Loyal service brings its rewards, as this fine Queen Anne walnut bachelor’s chest, which sold at Anderson & Garland on Thursday, September 21, attests.

William and Mary oyster veneered walnut chest

11 September 2000

UK: SUCH was the fine condition of this 3ft 3in (99cm) William and Mary oyster veneered walnut chest when it appeared at Clevedon Salerooms on September 2 that two bidders, one on the phone and one in the room, competed for it well beyond its £5000-7500 estimate.

A pair of giltwood fauteuils

28 August 2000

One of a pair of giltwood fauteuils by Jacob-Desmalter for which Ferneyhough, a London dealer, will ask £120,000 at the Chelsea Fair London, September 15-24.

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