Christie’s is holding their traditional “Interiors” auction on August 17, featuring the one of the best, yet affordable, selections of home decor. Pastel colors, dreamy landscape paintings, cosy carpets and historical furniture pieces dominate the object range. We put together some highlights from the auction for the ultimate inspiration for bringing the old world romance to your surroundings.
This beautiful and light walnut sofa features the scrolled back arms with rosettes, on classic Regency style out-swept legs, with four loose seat cushions covered in a refreshing bird and flower pattern fabric. This piece is a “Campaign” furniture, which means it was made to break down and fold for easy travel. Historically, these pieces were made for military campaigns. Naturally, it makes the transport easier for the prospective buyer.
These baby blue armchairs from the Georgian Era feature cartouche-shaped backs, padded arm-rests, serpentine seats and channelled frames, gracefully standing on tapering fluted legs. In the Georgian Era, furniture was then designed to match the majestic Neo-Palladian architecture the aristocracy was particularly fond of. Vertical lines, ovals, circles, columns, urns, disciplined carving, gilding and painting related to the Louis XVI style became very popular. The importation of mahogany was the most important change as it ended the common use of walnut, which was popular in the early Georgian Era. Key designers of the period were Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), George Hepplewhite (1727-1786) and Robert Adam (1728-1792). These beautiful giltwood armchairs are the most subtle English answer to French Rococo.
The light cream coloured painted pine body of this gorgeous Victorian wardrobe is stencilled with urns, birds and butterflies in the most elegant way. The two doors enclose a partitioned interior with rails, hanging hooks and two drawers to the base. This simple yet tasteful design showcases the intimacy of the private spaces in the Victorian Era. It is in contrast with the furniture in more formal spaces such as drawing rooms or dining rooms, where guests were welcomed, which are heavily decorated with ornaments, dark features and exaggerated curves. However, this piece is not completely immune to the gothic influence in the Victorian decorative arts, which is visible in the shape of the decoration on the doors of this wardrobe. Also, the use of expensive birds-eye maple shows the owner of this piece wanted only the best for their private chambers.
The Victorian age of the United Kingdom was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901, coinciding with the Belle Époque in mainland Europe and the Gilded Age of the United States. One of the most important additions to furniture design was the use of iron and machinery. The next lot encapsulates the effects of the Industrial Revolution and typical iron craftsmanship in Victorian furniture.
These two outdoor seats were created after models by the Coalbrookdale Company and Scottish designer Charles D. Young, particularly famous for their iron furniture. Victorians loved gardens and outdoor spaces. They also loved to decorate their gardens with the most lavish outdoor furniture, mainly chairs, benches, settees and tables made from durable cast iron. Harriet Homfray, Furniture Specialist, said to Christie’s about this pair of chairs:
‘The mid-19th century saw a move towards nature as a model for artistic design. The “Vine Pattern Garden Seat”, first cast around 1850 by Charles D. Young, Edinburgh, and the “Fern and Blackberry” design registered by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1858, are two examples of this embracing of “naturalism”. These two models proved very popular throughout the Continent and were also produced by American foundries in the second half of the 19th century.’