Friday, 30 January 2009

Bentwood Hat Stand.

Another classic design which is harder to find than you might expect. The Edwardian bentwood hat and coat stand c.1905. This one stands 78" tall with seven hooks. In excellent condition with no splits or cracks.

Victorian Mahogany Extending Dining Table.

New on the floor this afternoon after being repolished and overhauled, this good quality Victorian mahogany, single leaf 6/8 seater extending dining table. Opening and closing on a cork screw mechanism, original castors, excellent condition.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Regency Corner Wash Stand c.1810.

An unusual piece of furniture which recently arrived at the shop. Regency inlaid mahogany corner wash stand c.1810. With single oak lined drawer and two mahogany soap cups. The large hole in the top would have held a porcelain bowl to use as a basin. They have recently proved popular as plant stands.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Edwardian Oak Desk Tidy.

After a week off the blog is back down to business with this wonderful Edwardian oak desk tidy, calender and letter rack. The quality and durability of office furniture from the late 19th and early 20th.c is remarkable (scroll down to December 12th for a superb filing cabinet of the same era). It seems to speak of the confidence that existed in British commerce at the time. Notice the brass locks and fittings, and the use of piano hinges running the whole length of the sides rather than two smaller hinges which wouldn't have stood up to as much use. As is typical of its day, this piece was made to last and will still find a useful place even in today's "paperless" office.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Large Carved Oak Box Settle c.1890.

Good late Victorian carved oak box settle. Ideal for the hall, sit on it while you pull your boots off then hide them inside. Crisply carved with floral decoration, beasts and a green man on the top rail. This is slightly larger than most of the box settles we see. Oak throughout, in fine condition having been repolished. Original through.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Large Pollard Oak Wardrobe.

Another fine wardrobe, new on the floor this afternoon after having been repolished and fitted with hanging rails. Large late Victorian pollard oak wardrobe. Ample hanging with four drawers and a shoe box in the left hand section. Original bevelled mirror and door furniture, oak drawer linings, good carved panels to the doors. Superb quality.

Large Late 19th.c. Gilt Mirror.

A superb item which arrived at the shop a couple of days ago. A large late 19th.c. carved and gilded framed mirror. Ideal as an overmantle or to hang over a large piece of furniture as here, or would look fabulous leant against a wall vertically to use as a full length dressing mirror. Some damage.

Late Victorian Pier Cabinet. c.1880.

More fresh stock on the floor this morning after restoration. Superb little late Victorian walnut pier cabinet with excellent marquetry and attractive ormolu mounts. c.1880. The shelves inside are adjustable.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Rene Lalique Vigne Striee Bowl and Plate c.1920.

A new arrival here at the shop, this rare Lalique glass bowl and plate. Designed in 1920, the pattern is known as Vigne Striee. In perfect condition, clearly marked on the base of each piece.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Walnut Chest on Chest c.1920.

Fresh out on the shop floor today after being repolished in the workshop is this delightful little serpentine front, inlaid walnut chest on chest. With a brushing slide, oak drawer linings and a good dental cornice, it is a fine example. Loads of storage on a small footprint with a key to all the drawers.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Scottish Chest of Drawers. c.1860.

Before the age of mass communication and transport furniture was often subject to quite marked regional differences. As certain styles proved popular with the local market and the apprentice system ensured particular skills and methods were used for several decades so classics like the Welsh Dresser, the Windsor Chair, the Lancashire Ladderback were established. Another such distinct regional classic is the Scottish chest of drawers. This one is new out on the floor today and it is typical of its breed.
A large chest of drawers in mahogany with a single deep drawer in the centre, flanked by four small drawers. Above that is a single drawer hidden in the cornice (accessible only from inside the deep drawer) and below three good deep drawers. The whole is flanked by turned half columns and stands on bun feet. Particularly nice veneers, oak drawer linings, original knobs and feet.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Wardrobe Reveals Its Secrets!

Every now and then we have the excitement of discovering a secret compartment in a piece of furniture. Whilst tidying up the drawers in the base of this superb Edwardian inlaid mahogany wardrobe our restorer Tony found a little drawer hidden behind a tiny sliding door, all concealed behind a moving panel. Unfortunately it was empty (or so he says) but, accessible only when the left hand drawer is removed, it is an ideal place to keep valuables, pretty much guaranteed to fool your average burglar.
The robe boasts fantastic quartered veneered panels and drawer fronts, elaborate stringing and decorative inlaid panels to the centre and pediment. With ample hanging space behind the mirror doors and two drawers below. Original bevelled mirrors and door furniture, ash lined with mahogany linings to the drawers, original hanging rails and hooks.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Early 19th.c Flame Mahogany Sideboard.

Superb quality early 19th.c. three door mahogany sideboard c.1820. Single drawer over inverted breakfront centre cupboard, with fitted interiors and drawers to the side cupboards. A beautifully restrained and uncluttered design showing off the stunning flame mahogany veneers. Repolished and fitted with two new locks otherwise original throughout.

Pair of Bedside Cabinets

For various resons true pairs of antique bedside cabinets are very rare. Here is pretty good matched pair of Edwardian cabinets which have just been placed on the shop floor. Notice the different handles and the very slight difference in the door detail. 'Good enough to fool a man on a galloping horse', to borrow a phrase. This pair is priced £495, a true pair from the same period would probably be double that.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Early 17th.c Map by Abraham Ortelius

Another fascinating document purchased here yesterday. A map of the Italian island of Ischia by the great 16th.c. Dutch cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), creator of the first Atlas. Hand coloured with three good cartouches, the reverse carries a description of the island in Latin with an illuminated capital. This is plate 100 from the 1608-1612 edition of Ortelius's celebrated Atlas Theatrum Orbus Terrarum (Theatre of the World). Folded vertically across the middle with a minor stain in the lower left corner, otherwise in fine condition.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Folding Screen. Portuguese Arrival in Japan

You could hide a mulitude of sins behind this very ususual two fold screen or room divider. A really striking piece of interior decoration from the 1920's it features a reproduction of a 16th.c Japanese image of Portuguese merchants and a particularly shifty looking dog against a flat silver ground within a red lacquered frame. With general wear and some damage caused by damp but this remains a great decorator's piece.

Happy New Year. Here is the news from 1741.

I thought we'd begin the blog's second year with this fascinating item purchased at the shop this morning. The very first edition of The Birmingham Gazette dated Monday November 16, 1741. Remarkably this fragile document, sold for a halfpenny, takes us back to the reign of King George II and the premiership of Sir Robert Walpole. It's main concern seems to be events throughout Europe and London including the conclusion of 'the Third Secret Expedition.' Condition is poor but all four pages are easily legible.