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From the trenches of WWI to China – furniture lots look set to shine at Staffordshire auction

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CHINESE STYLE HARDWOOD CARVED SETTEE WITH TWO ARMCHAIRS

CHINESE STYLE HARDWOOD CARVED SETTEE
WITH TWO ARMCHAIRS

 

EDWARDIAN OAK FOLDING CAMPAIGN DESK

EDWARDIAN OAK FOLDING CAMPAIGN DESK

The furniture section of Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones Friday, 4th December Fine Art Sale is once again particularly strong, but two lots in particular look set to bring in the bidders.

 
The first – AN EDWARDIAN OAK FOLDING CAMPAIGN DESK, with the original leatherette interior, brass locking mechanism and its folding stand featuring a fluted stretcher is particularly poignant at it hails from the WWI period. A particularly fine example, this would have been the type of desk used by high-ranking Officers rather than those active in the trenches, but its portability would nevertheless have been essential. Such desks rarely come under the hammer and, as we mark the centenary of the Great War, Head Auctioneer Ben Gamble anticipates significant interest:
 
“This is a very interesting piece – we have seen campaign desks before but not often, and this one is especially attractive and of very good quality. With the huge interest in all things WWI at present, items relating to the era are proving very popular with collectors – this, however, has aesthetics on its side. It would make a very nice addition to any eclectic interior and, due to its compact size and portability would fit equally well into a cool, modern studio apartment or a traditional study.”
 
Ben’s second pick of the furniture lots is somewhat more exotic – in the form of A CHINESE STYLE HARDWOOD CARVED SETTEE WITH TWO ARMCHAIRS. With intertwined mythical dragons carved on the backs and arms of the pieces, each arm terminates with a dragon’s head holding a ball in its mouth. With Chinese art and ceramics currently commanding significant sums at auction, the suite offers an interesting opportunity, as Ben explains:
 
We’ve seen Chinese works go for significant sums recently, mainly via live internet of commission bidding to China itself where the new generation of young, wealthy entrepreneurs are buying back their artistic heritage. We see a lot of vases and porcelain come through the sale room, but to see furniture is certainly more rare. This is an imposing looking suite, rumoured to have been in Ludlow Castle at some point of its history, so it will certainly be interesting to see what it achieves.”
 
The pieces are set to sell at Cuttlestones’ Penkridge auction rooms on Friday, 4th December from 10am. Viewing will be held from 10am – 7pm Thursday 3rd November, and from 9am onwards on the day of the sale. The catalogue will be available online at www.cuttlestones.co.uk from Friday, 27th November. For those unable to attend on the day of the sale, telephone, commission and live internet bidding options are available. For further information please call 01785 714905. 
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