For followers of Bargain Hunt, it is becoming increasingly clear that the downturn in the price of brown furniture has not yet reached its nadir. David Barby’s eyebrows could not have risen any higher at the abysmal prices reached at auction by two lots of brown furniture last week.
The first, a painted suite of Arts and Crafts bedroom furniture which lost nearly £100, going for just over £40; and then two distinctly although not contemporarily painted 17th century chairs which he expected to make a healthy profit that only managed to sell for the price paid of £30. The usually effervescent Mr Barby was obviously quite perturbed at the low prices these items were reaching.
Logically, brown antique furniture should be coming out of the doldrums by now as we move away from minimalist tastes and the ‘IKEA effect’ to something more colourful and exotic, but sales prices still remain stubbornly low. If prices go any lower, then whoever is buying at these silly prices will eventually make a killing when prices start to rise again.
Most people in the know seem to think that this rise will occur within the next five years or so, so anyone that wants to risk very little money in the greater scheme of things on a handsome antique mahogany desk, table or chairs whether bought in Lancashire, London or other parts of the country, should have a go and make the dealer a reasonable offer and be surprised to take home something of consequence that will eventually rise in value. So don’t pay £150 for a modern chest of drawers when you can get a Victorian one for the same price.
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