FURNITURE IN THE ENGLISH INTERIOR: Q&A WITH COLIN STAIR
Tell us your thoughts about the state of value on English furniture at the moment. Is it still a good time to buy?
COLIN: It’s a really great time to be buying things. There’s more confidence in the market. So more interesting things are being sold. We’ve seen a definite rise by 20 to 30% over the last 18 months and it’s really exciting to see what’s happening in the furniture world.
I’m curious about consigning my furniture. Is it a good time to sell English furniture?
COLIN: It really depends on the situation. If you’re adamant about upgrading by all means, this is a great time to trade out and maybe trade up a little bit. If you’re helping somebody with an estate or things just don’t work. Yes. By all means, is it ultimately the best time- if you can hold on a little longer, do.
What types of furniture have the best investment value?
COLIN: In the old days, when my grandfather was doing the windows on 57th street, if my father dared to put a piece of oak furniture in there, he would’ve had ‘off with his head’ moment. So generally you’re more diminutive, satinwood and mahogany, finer pieces, maybe not the big monster bookcases and things, but if you stick with beautifully proportioned, well executed things and you absolutely cannot go wrong with great form, color and patina. I read today that a piece of oak furniture made a hundred thousand dollars in a sales room in London last week. So even the oak furniture and walnut is on the rise.
Mahogany – Is brown furniture alive again?
COLIN: As you know, mahogany furniture has been in a downward trend sadly for the last 20 years, so it’s nice to see it bumping along and coming up again. I’m so excited about things in the sale that are from literally from George I into the Regency in mahogany. It is really, interesting sale with a lot of lovely, lovely mahogany furniture.
What are your ‘top lots’ in our spring English Interior sale?
COLIN: There’s so many to choose from. One of my personal favorites has to be lot 313, the pair of George III, rosewood and painted, parcel-gilt console tables, possibly by Seddon, Sons and Shackleton after a design by Sheraton- they’re just absolutely cracking things with the original painted decoration, the satinwood’s not been washed back. It’s a nice creamy ochre/yellow color, lovely proportion. Great scale. Yeah, they’re really great.