Sellers of antique desks and Victorian dining chairs in Cumbria were gladdened by the results from Christie’s Style and Spirit auction in London. On February 1st the top-selling item was a Louis XVI antique marquetry desk, which made £32, 250 against an estimate of £8,000 – 10,000. To the surprise of those in Lancashire, even late Victorian dining chairs were achieving double their upper estimate. In Preston and Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs often do badly in provincial sales – especially heavily ornate ones. However, a suite of 8 late Victorian carved arabesque chairs, with musharabi panels, made £4375 against their estimate of £2,000 – £3,000. To many buyers in Lancashire, Victorian dining chairs like this often appear ugly and impractical. However, the telling design marked Liberty & Co as the probable retailer – a big selling point.
The animosity towards “Georgian brown” furniture seems to be at an end, at least in the area of antique dining chairs . Preston buyers hoping to snap up a set of 8 George III mahogany chairs for the lower estimate of £2000 would have needed twice that to secure them. A mixed set of Georgian and Victorian dining chairs made £10,000 – double their upper estimate. A set of Georgian Revival Victorian dining chairs, often a Lancashire no-sale, made £8,750 against an upper estimate of £6,000.
If you are looking for Victorian dining chairs, Lancashire antique dealers have plenty of good quality examples to choose from. Be aware that now may be the best time to buy, as if auction prices rise, so will those in the showrooms.
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