Friday, March 14, 2008

Betting on Bidding

Next week Christie's South Kensington will hold one of its Interiors sales - a terrific opportunity to snap up interesting antiques. They're not museum quality - they're not meant to be. They're simply good old pieces that have been lived with and used as they were intended. Its wonderful 'fear-not' furniture... pieces that will stand up to the dog, the over-indulgent guest, etc. Already a few hundred years old, furnishings like these will continue to outlive their contemporary, mass-produced counterparts. They're proven.

I decided to do some comparison shopping, just to get a sense of what similar items bought new would cost. And its no surprise, really -- they're either comparable or infinitely more. They do offer the convenience of point-and-click purchasing, but buying at auction (if you can't get to the location) is equally simple if done by phone bid. Or by absentee... you need not even be there.

A late-19th century giltwood pier glass, with classical urn foliage and wheat ear cresting
£400-600 ($800-1,200)

Williamsburg phoenix mirror, Carvers' Guild, price upon request

A late-17th century oak chest, with triple-panel front carved with foliate motifs and roundel decoration
£500-800 ($1,000-1,600)

Nassau Long Dresser, Williams & Sonoma Home, $4,950

A Louis XV beech fauteuil by maître Antoine Bonnemain, circa 1775
Together with a similar Louis XV beech fauteuil, mid-18th century
£600-1,000 ($1,200-2,000)

The Brissac Bergere. Pierre Deux, $1,295.00

A Regency mahogany bowfront chest with brushing slide
£500-800 (about $1,000-1,600)

Atwood 5-Drawer Dresser, Restoration Hardware, $1600

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