Whenever we look at a piece of English furniture that has been lacquered, is of geometric latticework construction or in fact any piece of antique furniture from the late 17th century onwards that is Chinese in its design, we will know that much was copied from originals that were being imported to the English market. The term used in the trade for English antique furniture and other artefacts made in the Chinese styles is Chinoiserie. (more…)
From the middle of the 17th century onwards case furniture, which included chests of drawers, tables, chairs, dressers and cupboards, in fact anything functional, were becoming the focus of the cabinet makers’ art. Backs, legs and stretchers were being carved and scrolled and upholstery on chairs was becoming more extravagant. (more…)
When we think of the bergère chair, what comes to mind could be something highly stylised from the Art Décor period like the upholstered tub bergère for example. In fact, not many people were adventurous or rich enough during this period to buy the new angular style of this classic and many stuck with the more traditional designs of bergère chair. (more…)
The difference between a sideboard and chiffonier is often hard to determine where both were very popular during the Victorian era.
A sideboard during the Victorian period could often be (more…)
Fixed upholstered furniture these days is something we all take for granted and every chair or settee we sit on provides a measure of comfort from any angle. However early examples of the upholstered chair which began to appear from around 1650 onwards were often quite crude in construction and were made by saddlers where webbing was stretched and tacked over a frame. Types of stuffing used ranged from grass and leaves to horsehair, wool and feathers. A stuffed and upholstered chair during the Victorian period was considered to be a luxury and ironically it was the stuffing and upholstery that often cost far more than the frame of the chair itself. (more…)
Many purists throw their hands up in horror at the mishmash of styles and tastes in furniture that seemed to flow through the Victorian era. Certainly whilst the Crystal Palace was in existence before it was destroyed by fire, numerous exhibitions put on show vast ranges of inventions, art, furniture and manufactured goods originating from Britain and across its empire. It was therefore understandable that most Victorians felt they were living in a world of infinite choice and basically could have whatever they wanted.
Many tables that we use today are designed to be functional in a smaller space where they can be used for family dining but also extended for occasional dinner party use. These modern tables all are direct descendants of the antique dining table known as the Pembroke table which came into existence from the 1750s onwards and continues to be popular to this day. (more…)
When we think of Regency furniture, many imagine it to be like stepping into a Greek or Roman villa two thousand years ago. In fact there were two strains of design in Regency furniture; one that did follow the antique Greek and Roman styles but also the French Empire style, favoured by the Prince Regent himself, that followed the neo classical Louis XVI style. (more…)
The BBC News Channel this week reported on some very smelly antiques going up for sale at a local antiques auction. The two antique desks, a clerk’s table and a roll top, have been heavily used at Grimsby fish docks for 100 years. The smell comes from them being constantly used by fish handlers where fish oil over time has soaked into the wood. (more…)
The Press Association this week issued a story where police have been able to recoup £900,000 from a convicted fraudster who was able to perpetrate the highest echelons of the antiques trade as well as other luxury goods outlets, namely Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. (more…)