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Mid Century Furniture

We auction 1000s of lots of furniture on an annual basis at both our auction rooms and in my opinion you will be able to buy furniture at our auctions of far higher quality, with greater charm and interestingness than any of the department stores or the warehouse-based Scandinavian labyrinth. And there really is no comparison in value. The only downside as I see it is that we do not make Swedish meatballs.

Most of the furniture we offer at auction comes from homes where the removal of items has been necessary due to a house move or the processing of an estate. It means that we sell all manner of furniture from all periods. A typical furniture auction will include a melting-pot of Georgian bureaus, Victorian armchairs, Edwardian bookcases, mid-Twentieth Century sideboards. It is furniture that has lasted the test of time, sometimes centuries, it has not collapsed on removal and generally it is ready to slot into place without frustrating assembly.

But if you asked me from which period would I choose to fill the saleroom with furniture, what would my answer be?

It is a tough one. We are of course passionate for history and traditional craftsmanship. But we are also passionate about design and the buzz of a buoyant trade. So presently, I would choose a saleroom full of good mid-Century designed pieces above earlier periods of traditional furniture. This is where the market is strongest.

Looking back through our archive of prices over the years, many of the best prices for furniture have been for items dating from 1950s to 1970s. The market commonly wants furniture to suit their houses and the way we live now. We live in a more ‘open-plan’ lifestyle, without fuss or frills, we want our rooms and our furnishings to be light and inviting as well as practical, this is reflected in our choice of artwork which is more likely to be a twentieth century painting or print, rather than a traditional Victorian watercolour.

Of course, older furniture can still make good money in the auction rooms, there is a thriving market for Welsh vernacular items (another post on another day) and many quality items from earlier periods still command good money. However, presently there is a world-wide market for good mid-Century furniture items that we sell. And it is booming!

One apt example of this booming market is a specific chair we sell regularly.
The iconic 1969 Prince of Wales Investiture was designed by Lord Snowdon, it is distinct with its post-box red staining and its embossed Prince of Wales motif to the centre. It is also distinct in its simple design.

When I joined Rogers Jones & Co twenty years ago, these chairs were generally making £40-£60 each. It had a limited market, usually being purchased for their Royal commemorative factor rather than their aesthetics. These days it is not unusual for a good example to make ten times this price. In our last Welsh Sale auction, we sold a group of Investiture chairs to America, where even there, they are now being recognised as a design classic.

Another example would be G-Plan furniture. Similarly, when I first started my auction career, going to a house full of G-Plan teak would be a disappointing appointment. It is now quite the opposite with many good auctioned examples from the 1960s and 1970s going to Japan and Korea.

For furniture from this period to realise good money at the sales it needs to have ‘a look’ of course, clients are looking for simplicity in design and Scandinavian or Italian influenced, or manufactured products, will often do well. The market is also on the lookout for furniture by recognised designers and brands.

Below is a small selection of ‘Mid-Century’ furniture we have sold recently with prices and a note of the brands or designers.

If you have any item of furniture from any period, you would like to discuss, have appraised or valued without obligation, then please contact us:

Imminent Auctions

IMG 7119

Furniture & Interiors

23 Gorffennaf 2024 10:00 YB
Bae Colwyn

Pori & Bidio

Processed EC124535 42 A6 430 F 908 C AF53 B7 CEA6 C2

The Welsh Sale

27 Gorffennaf 2024 10:30 YB
Mid Wales Office

Pori & Bidio

44243 0

British & Continental Fine Art

27 Gorffennaf 2024 3:30 YH
Mid Wales Office

Pori & Bidio

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