The Ribble Valley is just one area of Lancashire where antiques can be bought online as well as the high street. However, you don’t always get a bargain. One famous site, where you can either place bids or buy at the price shown, has some stratospheric antiques – such as a cabinet once owned by Queen Victoria; yours for US $21m. Slightly more affordable is a Louis XIV-style dining suite. Inclusive of antique dining chairs , dining table and cabinets, it has a “Buy It Now” price of $199,999.99 (£124,000); shipping extra.
Admittedly, the set is of exquisite workmanship. Hand-crafted from solid jacaranda wood, according to the American seller it is “of the period” of King John V, ruler of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve from 1708 to1750. Strictly speaking, there was no John V “period” as such. One of the greatest patrons of the arts, John amassed his collection from countries across Europe, buying only from the finest craftsmen. The dining suite being offered for sale was typical of the Baroque and Rococo masterpieces decorating the Royal Court, and homes of the aristocracy, at this time.
Had these been genuine 18th century Royal Palace antique dining chairs, a Ribble Valley collector would have got very excited. During the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, practically the entire city was destroyed, burying the Royal Collections under tons of rubble. Such provenance would have added at least another nought to the asking price. However the suite was a Brazilian copy, made some time after 1800.
Antique dealers in Lancashire have Victorian dining chairs with the same Rococo lines, at very reasonable prices; look for Chippendale Revival marques.
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