The largest collection of Thomas Hope furniture for almost a century has been put on sale in a New York gallery. Thomas Hope was one of the most important furniture designers in Regency England, but many of his finest pieces are now on display in America.
When people in Cumbria are asked to name an important Regency influence on antique desks, the answer may be Chippendale, Hepplewhite or Gillow’s. However, many believe Thomas Hope to be greater than any of these, his flamboyant and classically inspired designs recreated in Lancashire’s Victorian dining chairs long after his London death in 1831. The one downside of his elaborate, overtly aristocratic style is that (more…)
In Preston, antique desks and Victorian dining chairs are being snapped up for a fraction of their true worth, as buyers with an eye for a bargain cash in on the current slump in antique furniture sales.
The latest AFI (Antique Furniture Index) figures show there has been a steady drop in sales since an all-time high in 2002. Then, antique desks in Preston couldn’t be purchased fast enough. Currently, however, the interest in antique furniture has (more…)
In Lancashire, the antique desks and cabinets in the windows of antique shops are as likely to have been purchased at auction as from a private seller. Provincial auctioneers have enjoyed a steady rise in popularity in recent times, with some unexpected and highly exciting sales to rival those of London.
Mainly, this is down to the boom in sales of Chinese artworks, many of which are sold in country house sales. Affluent Chinese buyers have been flocking to snap up Imperial artworks, paying many times over (more…)
While Imperial artworks are beyond the reach of some buyers in Lancashire, antique desks are a different matter. The Annual Furniture Index for 2010 reveals a sharp downturn in sales of furniture such as antique cabinets. In Preston, antique dealers are counting the cost – but for collectors, it could be a bonanza.
The Annual Furniture Index (AFI) is published yearly by the Antique Collectors’ Club. A long-term project started by antiques expert John Andrews in 1968, it is calculated from the auction and retail prices of 1400 typical pieces of antique furniture – in other words, antique desks at Preston prices, rather than those of (more…)
In Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs, especially upholstered styles, tend to need renovation from time to time. The moment seats begin to sag, they need to be upholstered, or damage to the frame will result. Luckily, this need not be an expensive task. There are plenty of antique restorers who carry out reasonably priced repairs to antique dining chairs in Cumbria and Lancashire.
A good restorer will always try to preserve as much of the original stuffing as possible, and ensure the replacement upholstery reflects the (more…)
Many Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire homes had elegantly upholstered seats and backs. These comfortable pieces of furniture are just as sought after today, although they often have to be reupholstered to make them fit for sale. In Preston, late Victorian dining chairs are more likely to have their original coverings than earlier ones. For example Chippendale Revival pieces of the 1890s, which were often kept “for best” in poorer homes, can still be found in their original condition.
Even if it has been barely used, original upholstery is more likely to show signs of (more…)
Often, valuable antique desks and Victorian dining chairs in Cumbria are hidden beneath layers of paint and varnish. Dealers see these as a welcome challenge, and will spend many hours Restoring them to their former glory. However, from December 2011, antique restorers will no longer be able to use a staple ingredient of their trade: dichloromethane (DCM) paint strippers.
When they admire the beautiful glowing colours and dark patina of a set of restored Victorian dining chairs, Preston buyers do not (more…)
Set against the backdrop of economic doom, gloom and austerity measures, it seems that good old antique hunting is popular enough to be turned into an iPhone application.
There are figures to support this: attendance figures for antique fairs in the last year show a rise. The LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair that took place in Berkley (more…)
The antique cabinets and Victorian dining chairs that Preston viewers see in period dramas like Downton Abbey are often impressively genuine to look at. The reason is, they quite often are! According to an editorial in the Daily Express, stately home owners are quite happy to rent their rambling mansions and gothic castles out to film crews – and are rather insistent the antique desks and other valuables stay exactly where they are, even if it does mean they end up being used as (more…)
The Victorian dining chairs and antique desks of Cumbria’s favourite period drama, Downton Abbey, are about to be the stars of a new reality TV show, ITV bosses have revealed. The new series of Downton Abbey, which stars Dame Maggie Smith and is currently being filmed at its real-life location of Highclere Castle, Hampshire, will be screened Christmas 2011. To coincide with this, ITV will launch a celebrity reality take on the Edwardian-themed drama. Details are being kept tightly under wraps, but ITV have revealed that (more…)