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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Glamour and high society mix in a Scottish country house sale

28 July 2020

Ingredients for a tantalising sale don’t come much better than high society, glamour, famous names and an illustrious family combined with a varied, single-owner country house collection.

Lalanne hippopotamus bathroom suite

Early summer sales in Paris awash with modern design highlights

23 July 2020

Among the high-season sales traditionally staged in Paris in the early summer is a selection of auctions devoted to modern design.

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Casket at Sevenoaks auction reflects rags to riches story

20 July 2020

This late Victorian silver-gilt and enamel ‘freedom casket’ sold at Ibbett Mosely (15% buyer’s premium) of Sevenoaks carries the name of John Aynsley II (1823-1907) and was awarded following his tenure as mayor of Longton from 1886-90.

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Fashionable furniture among highlights of virtual edition of Masterpiece

13 July 2020

A George IV rosewood table with an Italian specimen marble top, c.1820, was among the highlight sales at Masterpiece’s recent virtual edition, selling with an asking price of £75,000 to a private collector.

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Works of art with aristocratic connections feature at Christie’s new The Collector sale

11 July 2020

Christie’s has launched a new cross category auction as part of its Classic Week sales featuring many items with aristocratic connections.

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Putting Berlin on the Islamic globe

29 June 2020

The sky was (almost) the limit at the recent sale at Bassenge (28% buyer’s premium) in Berlin when an Islamic celestial globe came up for sale.

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Freeform table flies past estimate to take €75,000

08 June 2020

A freeform table from the 1950s was the surprise winner at the design sale of Schops Turowski (23% buyer’s premium) in Krefeld on May 9.

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Purchases fit for royalty at Kensington Church Street's summer showcase

08 June 2020

After months of lockdown, one’s home may no longer be feeling like one’s castle. However, that situation is easily remedied thanks to the Kensington Church Street Art & Antiques Dealers Association’s Virtual Summer Showcase, which takes ‘fit for royalty’ as its theme.

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The Welsh stick chair: Turning the pages on a vernacular classic

01 June 2020

Welsh furniture and folk art dealers Tim and Betsan Bowen have released 'The Welsh Stick Chair – A Visual Record' as a resource for collectors and designers.

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Personal items that belonged to Marie-Antoinette lead auction at Versailles

01 June 2020

Personal items that belonged to Marie-Antoinette were the highlights of Osenat’s (20.83/18% buyer’s premium) themed sale titled Royalty at Versailles.

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From Roman fragments to jigsaws: dealers sell for charity

11 May 2020

Dealers might not be on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis but many are trying to do their bit through charity sales. Here is a quick look at some of the businesses pledging proceeds to good causes.

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Credence ready for revival

11 May 2020

Form, colour and condition are defining criteria in the oak market – and unfortunately this 17th century oak ‘credence’ offered by Claydon Auctioneers (19.5% buyer’s premium) in Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire, on April 27 was a lacking on at least two fronts.

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Small piece of furniture attracts high level of interest at German auction

11 May 2020

Several surprising prices emerged at Geble (19% buyer’s premium) in Radolfzell on Lake Constance on April 25.

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Campaign furniture exhibition keeps trade on the move during lockdown

11 May 2020

Virtual exhibition showcases more than 80 items designed to be portable and flexible

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Georgian card table at Chorley's stands out from the pack

04 May 2020

Such has been the fall in prices of Georgian card tables that it has become the norm for auctioneers to estimate most at well below £1000.

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Dr No rubs shoulders with caddies and dishes

04 May 2020

Among 83 lots of film and entertainment memorabilia offered at Lacy Scott & Knight (20% buyer’s premium) in Bury in St Edmunds was a British quad-size poster for 'Dr No', the first James Bond film starring Sean Connery released in 1962.

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Prince Charles investiture chairs emerge at Cardiff auction

04 May 2020

The investiture of the Prince of Wales in July 1969 was a pageant for the television age: held at Caernarfon Castle on a circular dais beneath a transparent Perspex canopy.

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Pottery expertise provides firm foundations as works by the Martin Brothers, De Morgan and Dresser emerge

27 April 2020

Held over three pre-lockdown days on March 5-7, Evesham saleroom Kingham & Orme’s (23% buyer’s premium) auction was rich in the best of English and European decorative arts.

Mahogany master’s chair

Classic English furniture among works from interior and garden designer’s collection at Sotheby’s ‘Style’ auction

21 April 2020

Items from the estate of interior decorator and garden designer Andrew Hartnagle and a collection of 20 lots of early English silver are two of the notable single-owner properties in Sotheby’s Style auction in New York running online until April 22.

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Tiffany and Lalique link up for glass highlights

06 April 2020

Tiffany and Lalique glassware from a private New York City collector provided some of the highlights in the Clarke Auction Gallery (25% buyer’s premium) online and phone bidding sale.

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