Any Ribble Valley collector visiting the Emerald Isle will notice that even a humble antique dining table has a touch of mysticism and magic that is missing from similar items made in Lancashire.
It seems the antique chests and open bookcases of the Emerald Isle are attracting attention overseas as well, especially in the USA, where many Irish people, including cabinetmakers, emigrated in the 19th Century. It seems Americans can’t get enough of the elaborate carvings and rich, deep mahogany and walnut woods that so often define Irish furniture. Waterford crystal, Irish lace and native artworks are also popular. Recently, a painting by Irish artist Paul Henry, called ‘Old Age Pensioners’, sold for almost £90,000 at a Bonham’s sale in London.
A beautiful antique dining table deserves a piece of beautiful silverware to sit on top of it, and decorative art is another area in which the Irish export market is holding strong. One dealer, who recently held an exhibition of Georgian Irish silverware in New York, explained:
“Including silver, these objects tend to display a playfulness and exuberance differently from their British counterparts.”
Still reeling after the impact of a four-year depression, this appreciation for the antiques of their homeland is welcome news for the people living in Ireland – especially those in the antiques trade.
In Preston, antique balloon back dining chairs and other furniture crafted in the Emerald Isle can be found by visiting a good antique dealer.
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