By George! 18th century furniture wows bidders at first auction of 2019

FINE furniture from the 18th century topped the list of big-sellers at Moore Allen & Innocent's first antiques auction of 2019.

An early 18th century walnut bachelor chest on chest made the top price of the day at the Cirencester auction on Friday, January 11.

The piece had been expected to achieve between £1,000 and £1,500, but some determined bidding saw the gavel fall at £7,000.

Georgian furniture continued to make a big splash throughout the sale, with an 18th century walnut chest selling for ten times its lower estimate at £3,200, an early 18th century walnut bachelor's chest with fold-over top revealing a baize-lined interior making £2,700, and a late George III mahogany serpentine fronted chest in the manner of Chippendale and Haig selling for £2,500.

Elsewhere in the auction, an 18th century walnut side table achieved £2,000, and a mahogany kettle stand in the George III taste sold for £1,600 against a modest £80 to £120 estimate, while a George III mahogany library table in the Chippendale manner just missed the £1,000 mark, with the gavel falling at £980.

"The market for good quality antique furniture continues to be strong among dealers, collectors, and those wishing to fill their homes with beautifully made pieces of furniture," said auctioneer Philip Allwood.

The run of furniture crafted during the reigns of George I, II, and III was broken only by the 20th century's Fab Four – with a card signed by the four members of The Beatles in a Liverpool pub in the 1960s, which sold for £2,700 – and by a set of four Cotswold School Arts and Crafts pierced steel wall sconces in the manner of Ernest Gimson's Wild Strawberry pattern.

Carrying an estimate of £300 to £500, the early 20th century wall lights with faux candles exceeded all expectations, with the gavel falling at £5,800 – the second highest lot price of the day.

The New Year Interiors Sale was the first of 13 themed sales to be held throughout 2019. The next – a Boys Toys sale featuring cars and bikes, musical instruments, records, men's jewellery, and collectables – will be held on Friday, February 8.

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