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.


Edward Barnsley cupboard

Cotswold family connections in demand at auction

17 January 2022

Lyon & Turnbull’s single-owner sale titled The Minoprio Collection: British Design in the Arts & Crafts Tradition included some very strong prices for mid-century Cotswolds School furnishings.

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Eastern furniture proves no sleepy market as huanghuali bed makes £140,000

17 January 2022

The market for Chinese furniture has come on leaps and bounds in 20 years.

George II caddy-topped chest of drawers

Just read the label: dealer sells Giles Grendey chest

10 January 2022

A rare George II caddy-topped chest bearing trade labels for London cabinet maker Giles Grendey (c.1693-1780) has been sold to a London collector after its discovery by dealer Alexander George Fine Antiques.

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Boxers fight their way to the top price level

10 January 2022

Rarely do 19th century Staffordshire figures feature among the top-selling lots at auction these days but two bare-fist boxing champions did just that.

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Castle keeps auctions interest going

10 January 2022

Further lots from ancient country seat star alongside a stellar specialist collection.

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Dec fair left unexpectedly leading the field

10 January 2022

The Decorative Fair becomes first major event to be held in 2022 after others are postponed.

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The web shop window

03 January 2022

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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Pick of the week: A round the world trip in the 1560s

03 January 2022

Sixteenth-century globes rarely appear on the market. So, Jim Spencer, Hansons’ works on paper specialist, had been amazed to encounter one at a valuation day in Bishton Hall, Staffordshire.

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Sitwell seat sells very well

20 December 2021

Appeal of Weston Hall contents particularly enhanced by 20th century occupants

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Sizeable sideboard by Ruhlmann on offer in Connecticut

20 December 2021

More than 700 lots of jewellery, silver, fine art, rugs, furnishings, and decorative and ethnographic art are to be offered by Nadeau’s on New Year’s Day.

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Take the throne: extraordinary Victorian carved chair in demand at Scottish sale

13 December 2021

The sale at Thomas R Callan in Ayr on December 3-4 included this extraordinary Victorian carved throne chair estimated at £2000-3000.

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Bidders spellbound in the US

06 December 2021

Single-owner collections offer magical selections days apart in two salerooms

Japanese cabinet

Pick of the week: Trading places in Japan with Edo period cabinet

29 November 2021

Estimated at £40,000-60,000, a lacquer cabinet from Edo period Japan sold for £105,000 at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on November 23.

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Record price for an IKEA item... made before its flat-pack fame

22 November 2021

A world away from the flat-pack furniture so familiar today, a Mid-century armchair has sold for what is believed to be a record price for IKEA.

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Sleek Printz designs from Casablanca villa up for auction

22 November 2021

A group of sleek Deco furnishings designed in the 1930s by Eugène Printz (1879-1948) for a villa in Casablanca went under the hammer at Briscadieu (23% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Bordeaux.

Chippendale invoice

Chippendale-Garrick invoice sold to society

08 November 2021

A previously unknown bill for furnishings supplied by Thomas Chippendale (1718-79) has been bought at auction on behalf of The Chippendale Society (TCS).

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Personal desk of designer Lafon offered at Tajan

08 November 2021

The personal desk set of the artist/decorator Paul Dupré Lafon (1900-71) will feature in the sale of Decorative Arts to be held by Tajan on November 23.

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Strahan bed potted by eagle-eyed bidders

01 November 2021

The frame to this Irish mahogany day bed with its bold paw feet and eagle uprights bears both the Strahan name and number stamp as well as an original paper trade label.

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Steel string guitar strikes a cord in Lincolnshire auction

01 November 2021

Bought in 1952 by a semi-pro Skegness musician who played with East Coast seaside entertainers, this steel string guitar got a big show of hands at Louth auction house John Taylors (18% buyer’s premium).

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Christopher Dresser finds his time and place

27 October 2021

Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) designed two electroplated claret or water jugs for Elkington & Co of Birmingham in 1885 – both of them daring designs inspired by vessels from antiquity.

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