At a recent auction held in Manchester, New Hampshire in the US, prices for antique furniture were all over the place and unpredictable. Three hours into the auction, Maine antiques dealer Bill Schwind commented:
‘This is a very confusing up-and-down sale isn’t it? Some of these prices are more reminiscent of the 1950’s than now, and other things are just going sky-high.’
With the continuing saga over the plummeting prices of low to middle range brown antique furniture, dealers were shocked at the rock bottom prices being reached where three English shield-back side chairs only reached an amount of $117 (£73). Based on these prices, auctioneer Ronald Bourgeault warned he would not accept traditional reserves for items and that sellers should be realistic about what to expect. On the US front however, two New York Classical upholstered armchairs did very well and were bought for $19,890 (£12,431). Purchaser Stanley Weiss said that a pair of chairs like these was always a bonus and the condition was outstanding.
Everyone agreed that it was a great time, whether an antique dealer or not, to buy quality usable antique furniture where period antique chairs and tables could be bought for similar prices to their reproduction counterparts. Although buying brown furniture at the moment is a bit of a lottery, some items at this auction sold well where others did not. Advice on the state of the brown antique furniture market can be picked up through visits to antique furniture dealers in Preston, Lancashire, London and elsewhere in the UK who will be pleased to talk about the opportunities the market and provide pointers on what is best to buy.
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