Category Archives: Antique Furniture

What is a Teapoy?

Before it became Britain’s number one drink, China tea was introduced in the coffeehouses of London shortly before the Stuart Restoration in 1660. Between 1720 and 1750 the imports of tea to Britain, through the British East India Company, more than quadrupled. Tea became a hugely popular drink in Britain, but, to the ordinary consumer, …

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What is Kingwood?

  This beautiful little ladies writing table is known as a ‘Bonheur du Jour’ meaning “daytime delight” in French! They were introduced in Paris in the 1760s, and swiftly became fashionable. The Bonheur du Jour is always very light and graceful; its special characteristic is a raised back, which may form a little cabinet or …

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Sarcophagus Wine Cooler

  One of the most exceptional pieces we’ve had in recent months is this wonderful Georgian mahogany wine cooler that has just come in to the showroom. It is a classic piece of English cabinet work from the late Regency period – some might claim the peak era of furniture design. Pieces from this date …

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What Counts is Underneath the Upholstery!

  When you look underneath the upholstery, antique sofas and chairs could not be more different from modern pieces. A new sofa, even from a high quality supplier, will be constructed of chipboard, stapled together and covered in foam. They are not built to last. A piece such as this beautiful French “fauteuil”, or arm …

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This is Patina

  New in this week is this magnificent George III bureau bookcase. Featuring a graceful open fret swan neck pediment above beautifully shaped doors with flame mahogany panels, this piece dates from the 1770s. Everything about it speaks quality, from the beautifully matched veneers on the drawer fronts to the bureau interior with its harewood …

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Fruitwood: Where was it used and why?

During the 18th and 19th centuries fruitwood was widely used for the construction of vernacular or “country” furniture in France and England. The most commonly used fruitwood was the timber from the native or wild cherry, Prunus avium, which produced a decent sized trunk and fine, wide planks. The wood is of a close, firm …

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What are ‘Oysters’?

  This technique is thought to have been developed by English cabinet-makers in the 1660s, immediately after the Restoration of the monarchy. Many of the finest pieces of furniture during this time were ornamented with roundels or ‘Oysters’ of walnut or laburnum. Oysters, so called because of their resemblance to an oyster shell, are produced …

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Our Top 10 Pieces of 2014

  2014 saw some memorable pieces through the doors at Thakeham Furniture. We decided to take a look back and see which were the really exceptional. After much discussion and disagreement, we managed to narrow it down to 10! Many are sold but a couple are still available; in no particular order….       …

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A Guide To Campaign Chests

  Amongst new stock this month is this lovely small 19th century padouk chest of drawers. Dating from about 1830, it is a particularly fine example of campaign furniture, designed to be packed and carried on the march during military campaigns. The officers of the British army who bought and commissioned campaign furniture came from …

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10 Things To Look For When Buying Antique Furniture

Here’s our definitive guide to avoiding the most obvious pitfalls….. 1. Does the piece have its original finish, or has it been repolished – does it have a shiny plastic finish or the nice smooth patina of age? (Read more about finishes here) 2. Look underneath, study the back, check for loose joints – when …

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