Mid Century Furniture
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 we choose to fill the saleroom with furniture, what would the 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, the obvious choice would be a saleroom full of good mid-Century designed 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 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.
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.
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 twenty years ago, us 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, rare models 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:
Furniture can be valued free of charge without obligation. Please contact:
North Wales - Stephen Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org
South Wales - Philip Keith email@example.com
West Wales - Charles Hampshire firstname.lastname@example.org