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.


Jack Metcalfe

‘Practical man’ makes Chippendale marquetry discovery

16 May 2022

A specialist in 18th century marquetry believes he has identified the craftsmen responsible for inlaid decoration on some of the finest English furniture.

Whytock and Reid table

Edinburgh dealership buys famous Scottish furniture brand

16 May 2022

Edinburgh firm Georgian Antiques has bought the brand of Whytock & Reid, one of the most famous names in Scottish cabinetmaking.

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Treasures escape the Red Army

09 May 2022

German castle’s works of art hidden away in the war come to light in Munich saleroom

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Amber casket strikes ‘Baltic gold’ at auction

09 May 2022

Over the years, the extensive general sales at Metz (25% buyer’s premium) in Heidelberg have provided many a surprise, partly explainable by the fact that all lots are offered without reserve.

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Mahogany armchairs inspired by Percier and Fontaine offered in Stuttgart

09 May 2022

The countless designs for furniture and decorative arts created by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, who were known as Napoleon’s architects, not only found favour with the French emperor but also had an enduring influence on cabinetmakers throughout Europe.

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Snappy Dresser rewarded at £21,000

02 May 2022

The latest design sale at Roseberys featured this Aesthetic movement silver and ivory claret or water jug designed by Christopher Dresser.

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Record for ‘MoMa’s’ Aalto smoking table

02 May 2022

This table by Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) sold for €92,000 (£77,700) at Stockholms Auktionsverk in Helsinki – a record for the Finnish designer.

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Pair of Windsor Chairs sets a furniture puzzle

02 May 2022

Pair sold at Somerset saleroom spark a debate on where and when they were made

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ATG letter: Cost restriction meant not so mighty mouse

25 April 2022

Re: your article in ATG No 2538 (A Trio of Arts & Crafts designers in focus) including a Mouseman oak blanket chest sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery for £12,000 hammer, which features the mouse carved in recess rather than profile.

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The web shop window: George III mahogany writing table

25 April 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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Pull up a chair or two in Cotswolds

18 April 2022

A pair of George III period carved giltwood salon armchairs in neoclassical taste, c.1775, are among the highlights at The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Art Fair.

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The treats of Philadelphia

11 April 2022

Pennsylvania dealership HL Chalfant, a specialist in American decorative arts, offers a turned banister back armchair at this year’s Philadelphia Show. The chair itself was made in Pennsylvania, c.1730- 40, and is available for $35,000.

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A trio of Arts & Crafts designers in focus

11 April 2022

While the market for post-war wares by Thompson’s of Kilburn – particularly the animal and figure carvings – has grown substantially in recent years, the ‘prime period’ for Mouseman collecting remains the 1920s-30s.

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Chaise longue value lies in the maker

11 April 2022

Knowledgeable bidders spot a design by Owen Jones on offer in North Yorkshire

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The man behind the tribal mask

04 April 2022

Fang secret society relic comes with long provenance to French colonial governor

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Collector Interview: Raise a glass to breweriana

04 April 2022

A passion that began with a single tray acquired on a football away day pub visit has led to the creation of a breweriana museum

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Louis XVI-style commode by François Linke offered in Cannes

04 April 2022

This Louis XVI-style commode from c.1900 is by the Parisian ébéniste François Linke (1855-1946).

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ATG letter: Ercolani mastered psychology as well as furniture

28 March 2022

I very much enjoyed Roland Arkell’s excellent article on Ercol furniture (ATG No 2531).

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Seated figure of Chinese deity creates new top price for Chantilly porcelain at auction

28 March 2022

A new high for a piece of Chantilly porcelain and two pre-emptions for paintings featured in a recent sale held by Daguerre (30% buyer’s premium) at Drouot in Paris.

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Wine-coolers benefit from silver finishing touch

28 March 2022

The London firm Samuel Jackson seems to have specialised in mounting other materials in silver to produce wine-coolers.

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