An association of antiques dealers has recently defended “brown furniture” after Bonhams Australia claimed that it wasn’t economical to sell “people’s wardrobes”. According to Mark Fraser, the chairman of Bonhams, the company would focus on the items which are most popular, like paintings Asian art, sculpture, single owner collections and jewellery. However, the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association have strongly defended “brown furniture” saying that it is still in demand.
The term “brown furniture” is used to describe wardrobes, antique chairs, mahogany tables and chests which are regular items in many homes worldwide. Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, the president of the association Warwick James said that the fine pieces of antique furniture are modestly priced in many cases and make good value furnishings. The dispute was started by an article which appeared in Saleroom recently, claiming that Bonhams Australia, which has its headquarters in the UK, is planning to stop selling antique English furniture as it wasn’t economically sound.
Warwick James strongly defended the popularity of the furniture saying:
“For our members, mahogany (and other wood) is far from passé and certainly has not been abandoned – but is reinvented.”
James went on to say that the antique furniture is effectively combined with newer furniture by interior designers to create a modern feel. A number of antiques dealers in the UK have “brown furniture” which remains in high demand, like antique dining chairs . Blackburn dealers have a selection of fine pieces which are modestly priced and are far more durable than modern items.
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