Viewers watching last Sunday’s edition of the Antiques Road Show were treated to a rare Gordon Russell cabinet.
The episode was filmed in Cheltenham last year. The BBC Antiques Road Show approached the Gordon Russell Museum, asking if it would allow a piece of furniture to feature in the programme.
Laurie Wolder, a volunteer and previous Joint Managing Director of the museum, brought the ‘Paris Cabinet’ – made from English walnut with Ebony, Laburnum, Yew and Boxwood inlays, and which won Gold at the Paris Exhibition of 1925 – and a splendid example of Gordon Russell’s work to discuss with antique furniture expert John Bly the merits of the piece.
“Sir Gordon Russell made utility furniture that people could afford.”
Wolder agreed, adding:
“That C.R. Ashbee brought the members of his Guild and School of Handicraft down from Whitechapel in London and settled in nearby Chipping Campden, and they made more exclusive and expensive furniture.”
“Sir Gordon did the reverse of what you expect to see. In a Queen Anne cabinet you would have a pair of doors on the front but Sir Gordon has opened it up so that you see the panel inlaid with marquetry.
“There is nothing quite like it. It is priceless but would be in the range of £50-60,000 as a much sought after piece.”
While cabinets of this rarity are normally found in museums, a reputable Lancashire antique furniture dealer will have some fine examples of antique cabinets to show interested customers.
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