At PFK Auctioneers’ November 30th sale, an impressive Victorian breakfront bookcase, measuring over 12ft in width, was sold for an equally impressive £3300 against an estimate of £1000 – £2000.
The scumbled pine quarter veneered bookcase featured a moulded cornice, with panelled cupboard doors and open breakfront shelves. With superb colour and figuring, it proved that larger pieces of antique furniture are still much in demand, if the quality is high enough. But it wasn’t just antique bookcases which did well in this Cumbrian sale. A Victorian mahogany full tester bed, with moulded detailing and pineapple carved columns, probably showed the most impressive mark-up, realising £3000 against an upper estimate of £800. And a Victorian wine cooler in the form of a sarcophagus sold for its lower estimate of £2000.
The star furniture lot of this auction in Penrith, Cumbria was an antique chest-on-stand of 17th century continental origin. Profusely carved and decorated, it had an estimate of £3000 – 5000, but fierce bidding took the hammer price up to £6400. Antique dining tables also drew Lancashire bidders to the sale, with one D-ended Victorian mahogany version, featuring nicely turned pedestals and paw feet, realising £3500 (est. £900 – 1200). A set of early Victorian dining chairs , the carvers having unusually scrolled arms, was sold for £1800 – again, well above the upper estimate.
Antique dealers in rural areas like the Ribble Valley often have Arts & Crafts furniture in their showrooms. At the PFK sale in Cumbria, an antique dining table by a local Arts & Crafts designer realised £550, against an estimated value of £150.
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