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'Boring Brown' is now `Appealingly Antique'

20th January 2019

Lawrences’ first Fine Art sale of 2019 drew to a close with a good selection of clocks, works of art, furniture and carpets. Throughout the sale there was a good feeling of `eagerness to buy`, always a good sign in an increasingly selective market. Mainstream pieces like davenports, better Georgian chests of drawers and sideboards were finding buyers at carefully judged estimates and it was gratifying to see that the valuers’ assessment of market conditions ensured that 87% of the furniture on offer was sold. “The phrase `boring brown`, long used to dismiss a lot of Victorian furniture as out of fashion, may now be replaced with a feeling that some of it is `appealingly antique`,” says Neil Grenyer, furniture specialist. “Good pieces are durable, dependable, well designed and quite desirable once more.” 

The highlights were many and varied: a French gilt metal and enamel carriage clock made £4630, a two-day marine chronometer by Victor Kuhlberg made £3660; a 17th/18th Century carved, painted and gilded figure of the Madonna and Child, 39cm high, made £730; and a Victorian case of forty five skilfully mounted hummingbirds fluttered up to £3170.

A pair of George III mahogany hall chairs made £3660; a Continental walnut and inlaid chest, possibly Italian, c.1800, was bid to £7320; a Georgian mahogany chest on chest, mid-18th Century, appealed to many before making £4880; a Louis XV style kingwood and brass mounted bureau plat went over estimate at £6700; and a Kashmiri silk carpet was bought for £1460.

The sale’s top price was paid for an Aesthetic-style armchair in the manner of Dr Christopher Dresser. Consigned for sale from a Dorset vendor, the chair made a very comfortable £13,400.

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“Amongst the things that have impressed me most are -your Expertise (knowledge based on experience - it’s either that, or research) which enabled you to identify items which deserved a place in the Fine Art Sales, where several went on to achieve spectacular figures. -your lotting. The way some items are lotted together, but something similar, but of higher value, is lotted on it’s own, or is put with some items of similar interest but much lower value. -your realistic guide prices. It all adds up to a seriously impressive service ! Many thanks to you and your team.”

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