19 Aug 2019
November 17, 2012 - Filed under: Antiques on TV — Richard

Cumbrian film-goers will have to wait till January 2013 for Steven Spielberg’s epic new movie, Lincoln, but it will be worth seeing for the genuine Victorian balloon backed dining chairs and antique desks alone.

Almost every Ribble Valley schoolchild knows who Abraham Lincoln was, and with Steven Spielberg at the helm and Daniel Day-Lewis playing the lead role, the film has won unanimous praise from critics, the New York Times proclaiming it a “democratic masterpiece”. Day-Lewis gives his uncannily accurate portrayal of the 16th president in his final days, while Sally Field is perfect as the mentally fragile Mary Todd Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones also gives a masterful performance as radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens.

Praise should also go to the set decoration buyer Christine Wick, who had the task of ensuring the antique desks and other furniture used in Lincoln were authentic period pieces, visiting a number of antique dealers to track down what was needed. She explained:

“It’s particularly important for historical films because it adds credibility.”

Some pieces were purchased outright, to be sold or transferred to a props warehouse afterwards. However, many dealers preferred to rent their furniture to the crew, in the certain knowledge it would be easy to sell afterwards. Items included an antique secretaire and a set of Victorian dining chairs .

In deference to his existing customers, the dealer didn’t profit from his brush with fame, later selling the furniture for its original price. People buying a Victorian balloon back dining chair in Preston will find a similar level of honesty among the antique dealers there.

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