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.

Battle of Waterloo table

02 April 2001

US interest in famous English aristocrats has often propelled the value of the furniture to unforeseen heights, and at Dreweatt Neate’s Donnington Priory salerooms on March 28 it was the turn of this Regency mahogany and chinoiserie lacquer writing table, estimated at £6000-8000.

Winning games table

26 March 2001

UK: THE Sussex sale was dominated by the £98,000 bid for L.S. Lowry’s oil on plywood Old Houses (Art Market, Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1479, March 10) but this record bid for the rooms was backed up by a number of pieces of good-quality furniture which saw competitive bidding.

Oak dressers find buyers in natural Cotswolds environment

26 March 2001

UK: THE Cotswolds seems the natural environment for oak dressers and a couple were on offer here.

Gillows marks up table at £13,000

19 March 2001

UK: The name of Gillows, never unfashionable, is going through one of its periodic high points and this was more than confirmed at the March 1 sale held at Leamington Spa by Locke & England (121/2% buyer’s premium) when they could offer the mid-19th century amboyna and gilt embellished centre table.

Wellington chests win Bedford day at £4600

19 March 2001

UK: Wellington chests remain a steady favourite in the middle-price range of furniture, particularly when they come as a pair as at this Bedford sale.

For the home decorator with everything

12 March 2001

UK: “I HAVE never understood why stools make so much money,” said one dealer after the seeing this late 19th century Chippendale-style pair, left, go under the hammer at Phillips Knowle sale. “They never seem to be used for anything but piling up newspapers in sitting rooms.”

George III architect’s table

05 March 2001

UK: A rather tatty, plain appearance warranted an estimate of £800-1200 on this George III architect’s table at Neales’ sale in Nottingham on February 23, but its virginal structure encouraged interest from the highest reaches of the London trade.

Sideboards in demand among Cheshire buyers

26 February 2001

UK: THE 105-lot furniture section harboured all the best prices in the first of Maxwells, Wilmslow, quarterly Antiques and Collectors Items auctions of the year.

£14,000 on partners’ desk confirms the trend

26 February 2001

UK: THAT pedestal partners’ desks have become the most in-demand of writing furniture has been obvious for some time – their rise has been matched by the decline of computer-incompatible davenports – but even so this mid-19th century example, offered at the Abergavenny rooms of J. Straker, Chadwick & Sons (6 per cent buyer’s premium) on February 9 achieved a notable price.

Carpet auctions round-up

26 February 2001

UK: LONDON was far from bereft of carpet auctions in January and February with all the major salerooms holding auctions.

Eight Regency dining chairs at £8000 top Brighton day

26 February 2001

UK: A CLUSTER of four-figure furniture entries at Brighton saw the biggest price reserved for a set of eight Regency mahogany dining chairs.

Bread and butter on a giltwood and gesso table

26 February 2001

UK: FURNITURE provided the bread and butter at Exeter in January where, as so often, dependable sets of dining chairs, tables, linen presses and longcase clocks brought the best bids.

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.

Bidding on unusual furniture offsets the Victorian casualty list

19 February 2001

UK: THE 122-lot furniture section at this Glasgow general sale was something of a double-edged claymore supplying, as it did, the biggest prices as well as the most casualties.

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.

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.

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.

£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.

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