Centuries-old table stuns furniture expert – and smashes auction estimate

Posted on 09/02/2021 in Press Coverage

A 350-year-old table dating back to the reign of King Charles II has stunned a furniture expert – and smashed its estimate at auction.

Edward Rycroft, manager of the furniture department at Hansons Auctioneers, came across the small oak side table while cataloguing items at the firm’s Derbyshire headquarters - and he couldn’t believe his eyes.

He said: “Just imagine, discovering a piece of furniture almost unaltered since the reign of Charles II and still perfectly functional. It dates back to circa 1670 which makes it around 351 years old.”

The table sold for £800, around three times its £200-£300 estimate, in Hansons’ February 2021 Antiques and Collectors Auction.

“It deserved to smash its guide price,” said Edward. “You don’t see authentic pieces like this often. I was impressed by its originality. Made from oak and joined using a traditional pegged mortise and tenon construction technique, pieces of this type are extremely difficult to fake. The supports would have been turned on a pedal lathe, making subtle irregularities in turnings.

“The smooth, worn top and subtle wear just cannot be imitated easily. One stretcher may have been replaced but the others are so integral to the piece there’s no question that they are original.

“The wear to the feet has occurred over hundreds of years and that’s to be expected. It is one of the most original pieces I have seen for a long time. You can’t help but wonder who used it centuries ago. Items like this connect us to the past.

“Charles II lived from 1630-1685 and was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651, and King of Scotland, England and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death in 1685.

“Though there is fake antique furniture around, they lack the honesty and simplicity of an original piece. It is wonderful when you get an opportunity to catalogue finds like this.”

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