16 Apr 2021
April 28, 2012 - Filed under: Antique Bookcases — Harriet

‘Brown’ furniture, for a long time in decline, is once again popular with buyers, as Cotswold auctioneers Tayler and Fletcher proved on the 14th of April.

Open bookcases, Victorian mahogany pedestal desks and antique chests. In the Ribble Valley, these are just some of the items associated with the term ‘brown furniture’, which describes the useful, solid wood pieces produced from the early 19th century onwards. It has been much derided in the past, but people have at last woken up to the benefits of beautiful hand-crafted oak and mahogany furniture, which has been built to last and fulfils a purpose.

‘Georgian brown’ dominated the sale at Tayler and Fletcher last week, proving once and for all that there is an alternative to Louis XVI rococo in the fine furniture market. The top selling lot was a George III style cross-banded and satinwood strung antique bookcase. Shelves were enclosed by panelled glazed doors, with satinwood panelled doors below, supported on bracket feet. Featuring the maker’s stamp of James Winter & Sons, Wardour Street, Soho, London, the piece realised £950, although the final price was nearer £1,100 once the 15% buyer’s premium was added.

Art Deco furniture is glamorous, elegant, functional and modern – and it’s a look that’s coming back into fashion. At the same sale, much interest was shown over an Art Deco antique pedestal desk. Made from Brazilian walnut with bone handles on the drawers, the curved plinth base featured foliate carvings, raised on stile feet. Again, there was a 15% buyer’s premium to pay. You can find similar antique desks in Lancashire – Preston has a number of good antique dealers, with no ‘extras’ hidden in the prices.

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