17 November 2008

Trad Furniture

Early 19th C bowfront chest. Estimate $446 to $744

Late 19C Chesterfield Sofa. Estimate $1,041 to $1,487

I think the best place to buy furniture is the auction house. Where else can you get deals like these two pieces and have a story to tell. Certainly not at Ethan Allen. Christie's (in London) is auctioning off the stock of two antique dealers this Thursday. I know some preppy girls who would kill for that sofa. Hell, I like that sofa. Click here for the on-line catalog. I've sorted by low estimate so hopefully you'll see the bargains straight away.

I 've had a lot of fun at auctions. The Gulf Foxtrot (girlfriend) and I bid on a late 18th C Satinwood Pembroke table a few years ago. The auctioneer was a friend. He's also certifiable but so many are in the auction business. My friend put the hammer down on my last bid and we stuffed the Pembroke Table in the back seat of a car. I placed the table in my living room and would just stare at it. I thought of it sitting in a library of a London townhouse or a country estate. I thought about made it over 200 years ago. What conversations and arguments it was witness to. I could just picture it like a scene out of Barry Lyndon with that warm candle lit glow.

Another friend of ours was a general appraiser and she was eager to see the table. She brought along an expert on English furniture and for a free lunch I secured a second opinion. He flipped the table over, unscrewed some screws, did some aha'ing and finally said, "This stood in water--for some time I suspect. Also, you have a mixture of hand made and machine made screws. Mostly it's George III but you don't want mostly. What did you pay for it?" I had that same feeling in my gut when I left my Rolex in a Hardee's bathroom. I told him what I paid. "It's worth about half that. Where are we going to lunch?"

I called my certifiable friend and told him about the appraisal. "Christ, what's a couple hundred years amongst friends?" In the end, the auction house returned my money and I returned the Pembroke table. I've bid on the cheap stuff ever since.


longwing said...

I need no furniture, but I could make room for some of this.

tintin said...

Hey, Longwing. Isn't it great. I hear it's time to buy. Everyone wants Modern and the prices of 18th and 19th C are dropping like a rock. People are paying an arm and a leg for machine made 1950's furniture from Grand Rapids while handmade furniture from England goes for next to nothing. What are people smoking?

The Duck said...


I have a few questions about this topic. I am in the market for some new stuff. Shoot me a PM please and I can give you my email.


AJD said...

Thanks for the heads up! I love the sofa!!! I've been dying for a Chesterfield sofa and I can't think of a more appropriate color scheme for my house than pink and green. Thanks again!

neue said...

we do Chesterfields Sofas in a wide range of styles and colours - even did a really long one in lime green :)

rosewood furniture said...

I like the color of the sofa. I remember my home back in the country in it. Light colors are so nice to the eyes.