Now’s the time to buy brown says Fellows

Fellows‘ Antiques & Fine Art sale on the 29th February and features furniture from the 17th to 20th centuries and the auction house says now is time to be buying traditional ‘brown furniture’.

An antique walnut side table
An antique walnut side table. Estimate £800 – £1,200.

Fellows believes that concerns over environmental considerations and the impact of using natural resources for ‘throwaway’ furniture is prompting younger bidders to search for quality items at auction houses and antiques fairs.

An early 19th century mahogany sideboard
An early 19th century mahogany sideboard. Estimate £80 – £120.

Mark Huddleston, Head of Antiques at Fellows, said  “You could purchase a piece of chipboard to self-build in anger, and then throw away when it is defunct. But why not invest in a great value antique piece instead, which could give you decades of service and be worth more than you paid for it when you resell?”

He added, “Collectors and traders are rushing to the auction rooms to grab furniture bargains before the rest of the world clocks on. We’re hopeful that this is a permanent upturn in the market, signifying that the many wonderful Victorian tables, corner cupboards and bureaus might soon find the loving homes they deserve.”

Also within the sale will be carved pieces of timber from warships such as the Temeraire, depicted in JMW Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire and widely held to be the nation’s favourite piece of art. The sale will include a turned wooden table with a planked octagonal shaped top with moulded edge, and inscribed on the underside with “Made from the Old Temeraire”. A white metal label on the column is also engraved “Made from part of the old Temeraire” and the table has an estimate of £100-150.

 turned wooden table has a planked octagonal shaped top with moulded edge, and is inscribed on the underside with “Made from the Old Temeraire”In the early 1900s the industry was especially prevalent when ship builders turned their attention to repairs rather than building warships, selling component parts and carvings for profit.

folding wooden bookends The labour-intensive work of shipbreaking also produced delicate objects, such as barrel-shaped wooden containers, candle sticks, or desk thermometers or bookends such as these featuring on the 29th February.

These folding bookends are part of a lot applied with metal plaques of ships, H. M. S. Britannia, H. M. S. Iron Duke, H. M. S. Iron Duke and H. M. S. Iron Duke and have an estimate of £60-100.

wooden desk thermometers and desk clocksShaped wooden desk thermometers and desk clocks were common objects fashioned from timber, these comprise a lot attributed to S. S. Leviathan, H. M. S. Sesame, H. M. S. Spartiate, H. M. S. Terrible and has an estimate of £80-120.

With estimates of £60-£150 there are over 10 unique pieces of shipbreaker’s timber to bid on at the end of the month.



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