The staff at North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants of Leyburn may well be celebrating with something a little stronger than their usual brew after an early 19th century silver tea-set, originally valued at £700 – 900, went under the hammer for £42,000 at their November 29th sale. This was the highlight of a highly successful month which also saw good returns on fine furniture, ranging from a Victorian oak partners desk to a set of antique balloon backed dining chairs .
Cumbria and Tennants are within easy driving distance of each other, with antique dealers regularly making the trip across the border on auction days. Voted the Best Regional Auction House by BACA in 2002, Tennants has been auctioning antique cabinets and similar fine furniture for over 100 years. By the early 1980s it was one of the most important international auction houses in the north of England, regularly hosting fine art and country house sales. In 1993, the impressive auction centre was opened, at the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Boasting 21 specialist departments, three salerooms and a superb restaurant, this was followed by the opening of two more regional auction rooms – one in Halifax and the other at Oakham, in Rutland.
Tennants’ December 3rd sale proved that interest in “brown” furniture is continuing to rise, with good prices realised on Antique Oak Pedestal Desks and Victorian dining chairs, among other items. When you are browsing the antique cabinets and Victorian Oak Pedestal Desks of your Ribble Valley antique dealer, remember that they may well have originated from Tennants of Leyburn – or an auction house very much like it.
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