October 2nd marks a special day for antique collectors in Lancashire. Victorian balloon back dining chairs, antique chests and other fine quality period furniture will be going under the hammer at Southport auctions. However, the real excitement will be reserved for two rare metamorphic chairs, with a combined value of around £14,000.
Featuring many finely crafted pieces of Georgian and Victorian furniture, the Southport auction will no doubt already be pencilled into the diary of many collectors and dealers. The lots include a miniature Regency antique chest, made by a Lancashire cabinetmaker’s apprentice. Featuring satinwood stringing, lozenge-shaped ivory escutcheons and bone-and-boxwood handles, it has an estimate of £1,400 – £1,600. There is also a miniature Victorian dining chair, in the Lincolnshire ladder-back style, with an estimate of £400 – 600.
The Southport auction is bound to attract buyers from across Lancashire and Cumbria, who know that when Victorian dining chairs are sold singly, you often get more for your money than you bargained for. The late 18th/early 19th century saw a craze for space-saving dual-purpose furniture – including mechanical chairs which converted into their own dining tables. There’s an obvious flaw to this, which is why they are quite rare. Nonetheless one will be going under the hammer at Stockport in October, valued at £3,000 – £4,000. The second example is a Trafalgar-style chair, which converts to a set of library steps. Estimated at £8,000 – £10,000, it is attributed to Morgan and Sanders.
Metamorphic chairs are far and few between. Nonetheless, antique dealers in Preston occasionally have Victorian dining chairs with a dual purpose; as useful today as when they were made.
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