18th century English furniture is prime territory for collectors

Antiques buyers looking to capitalise on the latest trends of the market should look to 18th century furniture.

So says Peter Horwood, a furniture expert at Christie's London.

"The 18th century is a collectors' market; the 19th century more of a furnishing market," he told Apollo magazine.

John Linnell commode
You can buy this 1790 John Linnell
Demi-Lune Commode today


Recent auction results are testament to the buoyancy of the sector. The auction record for a piece of English furniture was set in December 2010, when the Harrington Commode, made by Thomas Chippendale circa 1770, sold for £3.8m.

It's the top end of the market that is showing the most potential, says Horwood.

"The furniture market has become a trophy market. People are more inclined to have one really good piece as a talking point than a 19th century dining room."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb range of English 18th century furniture available to collectors. A circa 1790 John Linnell Demi-Lune Commode is currently available for £125,000, while this 18th century antique cabinet from Burghley House, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Exeter, can be yours for £95,000.

The beauty of English period-furniture will be familiar to our readers in the West. Yet it is making waves in countries such as China too.

A recent report by the Daily Mail newspaper found that pieces of antique English furniture in China are selling for 10 times the amounts achieved in the UK, suggesting that now could be a prime time to invest.

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