Anyone in Lancashire with a Victorian balloon backed dining chair to sell would do well to start giving it a polish, as a recent Cotswolds auction showed a distinct resurgence of interest in wooden furniture, especially quality Georgian and early Victorian pieces.
The sale of 509 lots was held on Saturday 2nd June at the Royal British Legion Hall in scenic Bourton-on-the-Water, 19 miles from Kelmscott Manor. As any collector of Arts & Crafts furniture in Cumbria will know, Kelmscott was the home of William Morris and this area of England was at the very heart of the Arts & Crafts movement. The top-selling lot was a pair of early 19th Century work tables and despite some damage and alterations, they realised £1100 plus buyer’s premium. The tables were in a collection of items from a cottage clearance arranged by the auctioneers, who also handled the sale of the property. Other lots that attracted high bids included mid-Victorian dining chairs and a Regency bow-fronted antique chest.
In Cumbria and Lancashire, auctioneers are often called upon to handle matters of probate. Typically, someone acting as an executor will want to realise the value of an estate fairly quickly so the proceeds can be divided among the beneficiaries.
However, while antique dining tables and similar fine furniture are enjoying a revival of interest, the prices realised may not be as good as those a Lancashire antique dealer will offer, especially when you factor in the seller’s commission fee.
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