June is the best time to start your bidding.

June 3, 2022

Internet shopping nearly wiped out ye olde antiquing weekend. But our Lawsons sales are resurrecting and redefining the thrill of the search.

It’s your chance to update your space with a feast of 250-plus captivating artisanal and one-of-a-kinds that make it easier than ever to pick up a key piece from the comfort of your sofa. After all, the best houses and gardens have something extra; and these antiques, vintage collectibles, and garden ornaments – are easy to layer on top to make your pad even more appealing. They’re also an investment. Read more, ‘How Shipping Delays Turned Used Furniture Into A Hot Commodity.’

The latest collection, online now, brings hyper-curated antiques to your fingertips.

Oh, and stop press: Samantha Armytage fans are in luck, the high-profile former TV breakfast host has included around 15 pieces from her idyllic five-bedroom Burrawang former farmhouse and Bondi residence.

There are also classics from Amana Finley, Appley Hoare, The Country Trader, even spectacular pieces from the historic Schweppes Mansion in Lake Forest, Illinois, based on originals located in the Palace of Versailles.

We have scoured the world for the collection, looking mostly for French eighteenth-and-nineteenth-century furniture with grandeur.

Find some of the best French chairs, tables, cupboards, shelves, commodes, tables, stools, mirrors and lighting in town with more than a few Italian pieces thrown into the mix.

Make the most of the opportunity. This is some of the best stuff in the world.

It’s antiques simplified with the kind of thing you’d see in the best houses.

Approach this sale with a designer’s eye, picking out items that are beautiful and using them decoratively rather than obsessively.

As a collector myself, I started to think that collectors like me might not be against editing and would welcome a focus on true beauty and freshness to market, rather than quantity.

This auction makes vintage furniture accessible to everyone, with pieces to bring presence, even grandeur to any space. The selection is wide.

On offer are hundreds of antiquities – from nineteenth-century Louis XV-style fauteuils to antique Chinese export lacquered cabinets and a twentieth-century Chinese enameled porcelain vase, (estimate $1800).

These are the kinds of ”serious” antiques that the world’s top interior designers seek. There’s more and more interest in 18th-century French furniture now, as opposed to English furniture, because French furniture is more original. When you are educated and have some culture, you come to the French. English furniture, after all, is inspired by the rest of Europe. It’s not so creative. People are buying French antiques because they are tired of the English country house look. Maybe the Ralph Lauren look is passe. People want things that are prettier, less masculine and lighter. 

People buy 18th-century French chairs to sit in. The 18th century was the age of supreme comfort and no one has ever made a more comfortable chair than the French. The mark and the line and the carving all count, and for us it’s very important chairs are comfortable. They chairs in our sale,  have a lot of personality and are designed to be drawn up to the fire. We use these chairs as much for sculpture as furniture. They are first-rate antiques and over the top in the best sense.

The wide range was done on purpose. There are serpentine-fronted commodes, oak bureaus, armoires, tables and chairs, mirrors, chandeliers, paintings, monumental urns with plinths of grand proportions and bronze fountains. Georgian and Regency, to mix with contemporary furniture and spaces.

Pieces with heritage value to knock your socks off.

One of the most prized lots is a Spectacular 20th Century Louis XIV Style French Gilt Bronze Mounted Marquetry Bureau à Cylindre, from the Historic Schweppes Mansion, Lake Forest, Illinois, based on the original which is located in the Palace of Versailles, (estimated $20,000).

Other noted lots are a spectacular nineteenth-century Italian Neoclassical carved giltwood marble-top table and mirror, which is expected to fetch $15,000 to $20,000.

The auction makes superb mirrors accessible to everyone.

On offer is a superb antique Georgian-style parcel-gilt and mahogany mirror, 1.48m high, (estimate $2000), a French Rococo-style giltwood mirror, 1.25m high, (Estimate $1800), a twentieth-century, Federal-style painted composition round mirror, (estimate $1400), an Empire-style parcel-gilt metal framed mirror, (estimate $1200), a Baroque- style round mirror from the first half of the twentieth century, (estimate $2500). Of great interest is a fine late 18th century North Italian green-painted and parcel-gilt pier mirror, 1.49m high, (estimate $8000), and a magnificent late nineteenth-century French Rococco-style girl mirror, (estimate $9000).

There is a stunning eighteenth-century French gilt bronze mounted mahogany commode with three original keys, (estimate $14,000), a pair of twentieth-century Regency-style painting armchairs with silk upholstery in mint condition, (estimate $3000), a Louis XIII-style walnut armchair with original tapestry upholstery (estimate $1600) and much more.

Find great deals on plenty of Louis XV-style mounted parquetry tables, bureaus, armoires and commodes.

Check Lot 181, a twentieth-century bronze mounted tabletop bombe commode, (estimate $1800). Or the nineteenth-century Louis-XV style needlepoint upholstered stool, (estimate $900).

For Sam Armytage, Australia’s favourite former breakfast TV host, the decision to put selected items up for sale stemmed from blending three houses into one.

“When Richard and I married, we had so much furniture.” It’s a problem most face.

Two of Sam’s houses were sold; one in Bondi, one in Burrawang – the pieces had mostly been bought specifically for those properties.

“Rather than keep everything in storage, I want these things that I had enjoyed living with to go on and have new lives in new homes.

It’s about keeping things in use as long as possible and being part of the circular economy,  The power rests on everyone and nudges for change we can all make.”

Sam is offering 15 lots at great prices from her former Burrawang and Bondi Beach pads, sold in 2020, giving everyone the opportunity to make their homes feel a little more like hers, and reflect their individual style while minimising their impact on the environment.

From contemporary French oak dining table, chairs, and sideboard, (all ex-Papaya), from the TV presenter’s former Bondi residence to a charming timber sideboard, (ex-Coco Republic), sculptural wooden side tables that would instantly update any space, (ex-Orson & Blake) and lovely old school table, from the idyllic Burrawang country house in the Southern Highlands, she sold in 2020.

Other highlights include a charming late 19th-century French armoire, ex-The Country Trader, (estimate $4000), a superb antique four-door pine corner cupboard, ex-Amana Finley, (estimate $3200), and stunning ex-Appley Hoare 19th century armoire.

Other top lots? A pair of twentieth-century Louis XV-style candlesticks fitted as lamps to a French provincial cabinet, 2.13m high, (estimate $2500), a twentieth-century Louis XV marble-top bombe commode, (estimate $2800), a fine early twentieth century Louis XVI-style giltwood canape, with Aubusson upholstery (estimate $3000), along with plenty of fine art.

For the garden, there is wonderfully weathered teak benches, sandstone finials, an Italian bronze fountain and sensational urns and plinths.

One of the most prized lots is a spectacular pair of antique Italian terracotta urns with aged painted bronze finish, circa 1850, expected to fetch around $15000 to $20,000.

There is a monumental cast-iron eagle, measuring 2m, (estimate $8000), a pair of life-size cast iron horse statues as well as an extraordinary life-size horse and jockey. Plus all kinds of statues like you see in the grandest European gardens.

Don’t let the idea of adding them to your garden be intimidating – they can transform an outdoor space, however small, by creating a focal point. Seek out big pots you can use to anchor something at the end of a path, to mark an area you’ve become interested in or to cover up something you don’t want to see. Also, all kinds of teak garden benches for a lot less than usual.

Join the huge trend to acquire a beautiful piece for your home and garden.

Auction houses are benefiting from an innovation boom spurred by the pandemic, with furniture and antiques easier to buy online in sales like our edit.

It is antiques, furniture, and art collections that could prove the biggest payday, market watchers say. So don’t miss out.

The auction-house expert in charge of this sale can provide a quick overview of the items available and the price range. Bid today and invest in your future.


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