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Furniture Auctions Review 2013

Christopher Hampton, Managing Director of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood and Head of the Furniture Department, looks back at the furniture highlights of 2013, which include a pair of George III furniture urns attributable to Thomas Chippendale that sold for £350,000 in our salerooms in Exeter.

An Early 19th Century Satinwood, Mahogany Banded and Inlaid Carlton House Writing Desk (FS18/888) offered in our April 2013 Fine Art Sale realised £5,000.

An Early 19th Century Satinwood, Mahogany Banded and Inlaid Carlton House Writing Desk (FS18/888) offered in our April 2013 Fine Art Sale realised £5,000.

The mention of the words brown furniture is enough to bring a prolonged sigh to most people in the auction business, so it is pleasing to report some excellent individual results for items of furniture sold throughout the year. Whilst the general demand for standard pieces of oak, mahogany and walnut remains fairly flat, it has also been encouraging to detect a few green shoots of recovery in the latter stages of 2013.

The undisputed furniture highlight of 2013 must be the George III mahogany pedestal urns (FS18/813), attributable
        to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), that realised £350,000 at our salerooms in Exeter.

The undisputed furniture highlight of 2013 must be the George III mahogany pedestal urns (FS18/813), attributable to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), that realised £350,000 at our salerooms in Exeter.

The high point of the furniture sold in the twelve months has to be the pair of George III mahogany pedestal urns (FS18/813) attributable to Thomas Chippendale, which sold in April 2013 for £350,000. Consigned from a private house in Devon, they bore striking similarities to the pair of pedestal urns at Paxton House in Berwickshire, Scotland which were illustrated in Christopher Gilbert's book The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale.

This pair of Regency mahogany and ebony strung waterfall bookcases (FS18/825) were hotly contested in the saleroom, finally 
        succumbing to a winning bid of £7,000.

This pair of Regency mahogany and ebony strung waterfall bookcases (FS18/825) were hotly contested in the saleroom, finally succumbing to a winning bid of £7,300.

In the same sale there featured a George III satinwood Carlton House writing desk (FS18/888) that sold well above estimate at £5,000 and an attractive pair of Regency mahogany and ebony strung waterfall bookcases (FS18/825) that were hotly contested over and soared past the £3,000-£5,000 estimate to sell for £7,300.

An oak wardrobe and dressing chest (not illustrated) by Barnstaple furniture makers Shapland and Petter together realised £4,900 in our
        April 2013 Fine Art Sale.

An oak wardrobe and dressing chest (not illustrated) by Barnstaple furniture makers Shapland and Petter together realised £4,900 in our April 2013 Fine Art Sale.

Later in the year, we notably sold a Shapland and Petter bookcase (FS20/1098) for £2,000 that
        featured a painted panel entitled 'The Village Band'.

Later in the year, we sold a Shapland and Petter bookcase (FS20/1098) for £2,000 that featured a painted panel entitled 'The Village Band'.

We also sold a Shapland and Petter settle (FS20/1101) in October 2013 for a winning bid of £2,000.

We also sold a Shapland and Petter settle (FS20/1101) in October 2013 for a winning bid of £2,800.

The name of Shapland and Petter of Barnstaple is synonymous with items of quality made furniture from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. There featured an oak wardrobe and dressing chest (FS18/856) with glazed pottery tiles by Flazman which sold in our April 2013 sale (FS18) for £4,900.

In the Autumn 2013 sale, further items of Shapland and Petter furniture were sold, notably a bookcase (FS20/1098) with a painted panel entitled The Village Band that realised £2,000 and a settle with a copper inset panel (FS20/1101) to the back inscribed Welcome Ever Smiles, which sold at £2,800.

This unusal Victorian carved walnut presentation wheelbarrow (FS20/1106) attracted fierce competition in
        our October 2013 fine furniture auction, with the hammer finally falling at £5,200.

This unusal Victorian carved walnut presentation wheelbarrow (FS20/1106) attracted fierce competition in our October 2013 fine furniture auction, with the hammer finally falling at £5,200.

It is always pleasing to see unusual items and none more so than a Victorian carved walnut presentation wheelbarrow with plated mounts possibly by Elkington (FS20/1106) and with a label to the underside inscribed J & W Cookes, Warwick, Manufacturers to her majesty. It was noted that Messrs Cookes & Sons had exhibited a magnificent elaborately carved 'buffet' in the 1851 Great Exhibition, although sadly no record could be found of a wheelbarrow being exhibited. Nevertheless, there was fierce competition between a bidder on the telephone and another on the Internet, the former being successful with a winning bid of £5,200.

An extremely rare pair of Regency carved giltwood concave mirrors (FS20/1150) realised £17,500 at our
        Exeter salerooms against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000.

An extremely rare pair of Regency carved giltwood concave mirrors (FS20/1150) realised £17,500 at our Exeter salerooms against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000.

Of particular attraction in the Autumn sale was a pair of Regency carved giltwood concave mirrors (FS20/1150). The reason for the attraction was that they had reverse paintings of Chinese estuary scenes on the plates making them extremely rare. This was reflected in the final hammer price of £17,500 against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000.

A rare pair of Colonial carved padouk wood display cabinets (FS17/864) attracted significant interest with a winning
        bid of £36,000 securing them.

A rare pair of Colonial carved padouk wood display cabinets (FS17/864) attracted significant interest with a winning bid of £36,000 securing them.

At the beginning of the year an equally rare pair of Colonial carved padouk wood display cabinets on stands in the Chinese taste (FS17/864) attracted significant interest selling for £36,000, whilst an early 19th Century Chinese Export lacquer eight fold screen (FS18/869) sold for £6,200 against a £3,000-£5,000 estimate.

This early 19th century Chinese export lacquer screen (FS18/869) sold for £6,200 in April 2013.

This early 19th century Chinese export lacquer screen (FS18/869) sold for £6,200 in April 2013.

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  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Fine Furniture Auctions

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