That’s Sheraton Style!
Edwardian Revival Suite Of Furniture Bucks Trend To Sell For £12,500 At Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers
A suite of fine and elaborate Sheraton Revival furniture discovered in a Surrey village home sold for a total of £12,500 at Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers to emerge not just the most valuable lots in the recent sale but also the highest priced pieces of furniture sold by Surrey’s premier fine art auctioneers last year.
Entered into the sale at the last minute, the suite comprised a pair of inlaid mahogany and banded serpentine commodes each with three drawers, the tops decorated with ribbon ties, flowers and foliage, the fronts with swags and flowers and central lyres and the sides with oval satinwood panels of baskets of flowers. They doubled their presale estimate to sell for £8,000.
Matching the commodes was a serpentine-fronted sideboard, the top inlaid with a central fan design and cornucopias of garlands of flowers and foliage, while the three central bowfronted drawers were each inlaid with a central lyre and swags of flowers, flanked by cupboards each inlaid with an oval panel of urn, flowers and foliage. The sideboard was estimated at £1,000-1,500 but sold for £4,500.
Happily, the suite will remain together: both lots were purchased by the same London dealer.
Sheraton is a late 18th century neoclassical English furniture style, which was in vogue from circa 1785 to 1800. It takes its name from furniture designer Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806) who was influenced by the style of French Louis XVI furniture. Sheraton style was revived during the late Victorian and Edwardian period when English cabinet makers vied with each other to produce the finest copies but decorated with ever more elaborate inlay.
Said auctioneer Chris Ewbank: “The commodes and sideboard were superb examples of the cabinetmaker’s craft and it was no surprise they sold so well. Since 2010, our total sales from the antique furniture department has slipped from the number one spot to number four, declining by 28 per cent, but the suite certainly bucked that trend.
“Traditionally furniture has been the staple diet for the provincial auctioneer but Georgian furniture in particular has been in decline for many years. A hoped-for and long-awaited recovery has not yet materialised and prices are now at such a low ebb that it currently represents exceptional value for money.”
Nearest contender to the Sheraton in the last sale was an 18th century walnut cross banded and line inlaid escritoire sent for sale from another Surrey home which, amazingly, was purchased by a bidder from Melbourne in Australia. The desk had a fall front writing surface which opened to reveal pigeon holes and drawers over a base with two short and two long drawers, It sold on top estimate for £1,500.
A 19th century mahogany dining table with two extra leaves extending it to seven feet in length sufficient to seat 10 was also wanted. Sent for sale by a private client from Norfolk, the table sold to a Kent dealer for £1,400 against an estimate of £600-1,000.
An eight feet long late 17th or early 18th century oak dresser base with four drawers, a shaped apron and sttanding on turned legs sold for £1,000, while one of the best performers was a pair of 18th century walnut pierced splat back chairs which sold for £700 against an estimate of £100-200.
Among continental furniture, a late 18th or early 19th century Dutch mahogany and floral marquetry inlaid serpentine-fronted folding card table, the interior with four counter wells and decorated with inlaid playing cards, sold for £900.
Entries are now being accepted for general sales of Victorian and later furniture and antiques, the next of which are on February 1, 15 and 29 and the Spring sale of fine art and antiques on March 21. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 01483 223101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.