An antique dining table by American Arts & Crafts furniture designer William Price was the top selling lot at an auction in Lambertsville, New Jersey, realising $237,500 (£149,600).
The rare and exceptional trestle table was one of several outstanding lots in an auction of early 20th century and Arts & Crafts pieces held at the end of February. Designed by William (Will) L. Price, it was made at his utopian Rose Valley Community, Delaware, in around 1901. A Rose Valley armchair, also by William Price, realised $25,000 (£15,750). Among the English pieces, $50,000 (£31,500) was paid for an F.A. Rawlence antique cabinet.
Cumbria was an important centre of the English Arts & Crafts movement, which sprang up as a backlash against the poorly manufactured, mass-produced goods churned out during the Industrial Revolution. Championed by William Morris and John Ruskin, the movement sought to return to the values of individual craftsmanship, solid materials and honest design.
The socialist ideals of Morris and his contemporaries reached across to America, which established its own style of Arts & Crafts furniture. In Lancashire, this is sometimes referred to as the Mission Style. It took concepts from the European Arts & crafts movement, blending them with Hispanic and South Western influences. However, unlike Britain, American Arts and Crafts did not spread much beyond the formation of a few Utopian communities, one of the most important being Rose Valley.
Remember, buying furniture at auction means paying heavy commission fees – up to 20% in some cases. If you’re in Lancashire, antique dining tables in the Arts & Crafts style can be found at antique dealers in Preston and the Ribble Valley.