Brown antique furniture back in vogue

Brown antique furniture is back in vogue, according to a Derbyshire auction house which saw a “surge in demand” at its recent Antiques and Collectors sale.

Hanson’s Auctioneers said that a number of traditional antique furniture lots climbed above their estimates after strong bidding.

18th Century Dutch walnut and floral marquetry bureau
An 18th Century Dutch walnut and floral marquetry bureau – sold for £2,900

Highlights from the sale included several items from the contents of Luddington Manor, near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, which sparked some of the fiercest bidding.

One example was a Georgian oak food or livery cupboard, which climbed above its estimate of £600 to £900 to sell eventually for £2,000.

Other lots that also performed well were:

  • An 18th-century oak and elm long table, had bidders in the room, commission bidders, internet bidders and telephone bidders. The estimate was £1,000 to £1,500 but it finally sold for £2,300.
  • An 18th-century Dutch walnut and floral marquetry bureau, of bombe form, with mother of pearl inlay and fall front. It sold for £2,900.
  • A George II oak joined dresser base, circa 1740, with three drawers, sold for £2,100.
  • A 19th-century walnut sofa covered in a sumptuous hand-embroidered floral and gold silk upholstery. It sold for £580, almost doubling its estimate of £200 to £300.
  • A harlequin set of eight Windsor chairs, probably dating to the early 19th century, they had an estimate of £1,000 to £1,500 and sold for £1,350.
18th Century oak and elm long table
An 18th Century oak and elm long table – sold for £2,300

Commenting on the sale, Edward Rycroft, head of the furniture department at Hanson’s, said, “I noted a surge in interest in more average pieces of furniture, suggesting a revival in popularity is under way. The furniture auction, day three of the January sale (Jan 20), saw an 87% sale rate.”

He continued, “Such a strong sale demonstrates the re-emergence of the brown furniture market.  The vernacular and country oak furniture in this sale achieved great interest, more so than other types of furniture in other timbers, perhaps indicating an exciting renaissance for traditional oak furniture.

“Smaller, more original furniture was popular and bidders were keen to buy quality. I was delighted with the results and hope it marks the start of a revival in the appreciation of high quality, antique furniture.”

2 thoughts on “Brown antique furniture back in vogue

  • January 27, 2018 at 11:01 am

    There was an article I read a couple of months ago that was citing Sotheby/Christies sales prices for brown antique furniture. Of course this will be the top end of the market however they were seeing a resurgence of interest and prices in what has recently been a flat market. Yesterday I searched Google for ‘UK antique furniture market’ hoping to see some analysis of how this trade is performing. Not a single graph, study or analysis was presented, I wonder if there is a space that needs to be filled there?

  • April 19, 2018 at 12:36 am

    I am waiting for the end of shabby chic……and meanwhile I started furnishing my latest house with interesting inexpensive lovely antiques I like the look of and I have mixed these in with a few on trend pieces. My uncle was a French polisher. I loved watching him work and the way he enhanced the beauty of the wood shining through. He did not live to see shabby chic fashions and perhaps just as well.

    The result of my dark furniture decor is a homely comfortable environment with much detailed interest wherever you look. Outside the garden is structured yet sub tropical. Young people coming here to visit love the place. All they have really ever seen is functional contemporary minimalist IKEA type furniture. These young people are so passionate about the environment and discovering some affordable antiques pieces in usage is the epitome of recycling. These aged antiques look good. Mixed in with ad hoc pieces taken from several era’s of design fashion they become very interesting and so much fun.


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