The furniture and clocks department, catalogued by specialists Gerry Berwyn-Jones and Alexander Clement, has grown steadily over the years and enjoyed some spectacular results including the discovery in Berriew and subsequent sale of an A.W.N. Pugin ‘octagon’ table by Crace for £185,000, a George I scarlet and gilt japanned double domed bureau cabinet for £120,000 and an Edward Godwin ‘Smallhythe’ table for £40,000.
Gerry and Alexander are constantly on the lookout for good quality exhibition standard furniture by Gillows, Holland and Sons, Jackson and Graham and Lamb of Manchester and is particularly interested in the rise of the ‘Mid-Century Modern’ movement. Furniture from twentieth century designers such as Gordon Russell, Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson of Kilburn, Lucian Ercolani, Ernest Race, Robin Day and Robert Heritage is performing well at auction and as tastes change, the modern auction room buyer is beginning to ‘mix and match’ with furniture from the George III period as well as twentieth century pieces to create an individual ‘look’.
Shropshire is well placed for the sale of oak and vernacular antique furniture and clocks and there is an enthusiasm for antique pine with original ‘scumbled’ finish and oak dressers made in the George III period from Shropshire and Powys, particularly Montgomeryshire dressers. Good quality mahogany furniture and the more exotic woods such as satinwood and rosewood are still selling well and there is a great demand for comfortable seat furniture, especially period wing back armchairs. Pairs of any description (bookcases, card tables, side cabinets) are also much sought after and Shropshire and the West Midlands still boasts plenty of large houses with long drives that need good quality antique furniture.
The internet has led to an increase in buyers for antique furniture and there is now demand for high quality English furniture from across the globe.