A set of glasses purchased at a car boot sale for 40p in February sold at a June auction for £16,000. The glasses – rare armorial pieces by Beilby of Newcastle – belonged to a Cumberland career churchman. They were auctioned at Strides & Son, a Sussex firm that regularly makes antique trade headlines on anything from Chinese Porcelain to antique cabinets.
Lancashire readers may be interested to know Strides occasionally feature Gillows of Lancaster in their sales too. Earlier in the year, a pair of Victorian bedside cabinets, from a Gillows design, realised £6000 against a reserve of £1500. The cabinets were actually “deception tables” – so called because they were cunningly disguised to hold a chamber pot!
As with sales in Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs and other “brown” furniture items are finally seeing their worth down south, after being in the doldrums for some time. Often, this is in the most unlikely way. Strides recently sold an ornate Louis IV-style antique dining table for £5200, against a reserve of £400. Not so unusual, you may think – except the sale was of the elaborate gilt base alone, the top having been lost.
However, as in Lancashire, antique desks are unlikely to make the news headlines – unless they are rare piece by Gillows. In general, the real eyebrow-raising has been reserved for items like the three armorial Beilby wine glasses. In this case, the arms were those of John Thomas (1712-1793), a Bishop of Rochester who originally hailed from Carlisle, Cumbria.
If you want an antique balloon back dining chair from which to sit and enjoy your favourite tipple, an antique dealer in Preston should be able to help.
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