It’s everyone’s dream to escape to a French farmhouse. Now you can get the look, wherever you live, with the very best in authentic French vintage and antique furniture at Isabella’s online sale with Lawson’s Auctioneers, right now.
It’s the design lover’s curated Paris flea market of Sydney shopping.
Isabella brings France home, with the 290-piece edit of simple, antique country pieces, offering bidders as well as collectors a scattershot of original objects including the “IT” chair of the year.
There are superb farmhouse dining tables to choose from as well as knife-scarred harvest tables, eighteenth-century commodes, brutalist chairs and other statement pieces.
Find plenty of vintage walnut, elm, oak, fruitwood, and pine with eighteenth-and-nineteenth century sideboards, folksy solid timber benches, every kind of seating, side tables galore, desks, stools, oversized gilt mirrors, little Provencal tables, bedsides, assorted vintage and antique chandeliers – small to large, gilt to wrought iron, to create rooms with that enviable mix of elegance and insouciance, and off-the-cuff ease.
Find outdoor chairs, you can use inside. Marble-top tables that can double as serveries. Plus, vintage wicker seating, old landscape paintings, lanterns, copper pots, ornaments, and much more, to give interiors a chic yet welcoming feel without looking like you’ve tried too hard.
“There’s something comforting about living with beautiful old furniture, art, and objects,” says Isabella, “many of which work as statement pieces in the most important spots of the home and are a way to ensure your home is an optimistic, beautiful, happy place”.
“Choosing the right piece for your house can do wonders.”
The sale is a lesson in using old pre-loved things in new, different settings – an opportunity for people to buy soulful things that have been well designed and well made with a story.
“You can treat French antique furniture as if it were modern art,” says Isabella. “It’s like sculpture. A gilded French mirror or a huge antique chandelier can be as powerful as a work of art.”
The collection includes the ‘It’ Chair of 2023. A folksy wooden seat, that hails from midcentury France, which is showing up in the chicest homes everywhere.
The unfussy, midcentury vintage chair design is getting high marks for a wabi-sabi style that celebrates imperfections, thanks to exposed bolts, obvious joints, plain-Jane planks and unpolished wood.
Some look like little more than two pieces of wood attached to legs, but keyhole details or sculpted backs can make them sweeter. At online marketplace 1stDibs, searches for “brutalist chair” are up 115% year over year. Seek out your own starting with Lot 15, a set of four French mid-century brutalist pine chairs, (Estimate: $800).
“Vintage furniture can be an incredibly worthy investment, and give your home a one-of-a-kind look that others won’t have,” says Isabella.
“Decorating with vintage items adds character, uniqueness, and history that is often difficult to achieve when decorating with entirely mass-produced items,” says Isabella.
Vintage items often have a quality and craftsmanship that is not often found in new items at a similar price point. Not to mention, you’re upcycling older items, which is a more sustainable way to shop.
Aside from simply adding character to a space, Isabella believes that there are some items that are always better to purchase vintage for reasons that go far beyond aesthetics—such as better quality of materials, affordability, sustainability, and more.
While not all older furniture pieces and accessories are worth collecting, Isabella has included in her sale, the pieces that are, so that you know how to best invest in your space. Here we breakdown the things you should be buying vintage instead of new:
Wooden tables are a must when it comes to items you should consider buying vintage or antique. Isabella generally prefers buying items like wooden dining tables over new ones because they’re more likely to be made from solid wood. Newer pieces, on the other hand, are more commonly made from laminate, veneer, or other synthetic materials that don’t hold up as well.
Another great thing about vintage wooden tables is the character.
As these vintage pieces often tend to feature marks, imperfect edges, or scuffs, Isabella thinks this adds just a bit of authenticity and differentiation, especially when compared to a factory-manufactured item.
Isabella also thinks every room needs a high-quality piece of brown furniture.
Don’t miss Lot 52, a wonderful 20th-century French pine alpine table from a farmhouse in The French Alps, 1.6m, (estimate: $2,200). Bargains include Lot 18, a Vintage French pedestal table with a worn painted patina finish, from the French Alps, (Estimate: $150). Lot 10, an Antique French table with a marble top from Haute Savoie, (estimate: $600). Also seek out desks such as Lot 32, an antique French Henri III-style writer’s desk from Annecy with leather inlay, two carved drawers and beautiful turned legs, (estimate: $800).
To really stand out from the crowd, Isabella suggests looking for original vintage European artwork. Try Lot 6, French 19th Century oil landscape painting, Signed by artist, (estimate: $300).
They only get better over time such as Lot 28, a 19th Century French mahogany Louis Philippe-style commode with beautiful hardware. Discovered in Paris, (estimate: $2,600). Ideal for that high-end, lived-in look. Not only will you get more bang for your buck, a good antique French commode can make an impact on a space with its striking shape and perfect proportions, making decorating a cinch.
Don’t miss Lot 21, a chic French 19th Century Antique commode ‘Bombe’ with two drawers and original paintwork from Paris (estimate: $2,200), or Lot 72, a 19th Century antique French Louis XV-style bombe commode with marble top from Paris, (estimate: $500).
Side tables and Sideboards
A tried-and-trusted option for decorating a room. When it comes to versatility, nothing is more effortless than a go-with-everything vintage French timber side table and sideboards. They are flexible options, (essentials, classics, basics), which you can move from room to room.
Even better, a quality investment French antique piece that doesn’t have to break the bank in order to last forever in your home.
Lot 91, a 20th-century French sideboard from the French Alps, Approx H 2.1m x 1m, (estimate: $1,500). Lot 92, Early 20th-century antique French sideboard from a farmhouse in Provence, 1.7m, (estimate: $1,500), or Lot 169, a 20th Century art deco cabinet with beautiful timber carvings from Paris, (estimate: $200).
A Gilt Mantel Mirror
If all the furniture is the same height, there’s no better way to bring up the eye, than a tall gilt mirror over a desk, or mantel. It will instantly lighten the room, adding glamour. Start with Lot 24, a large antique French gilt and timber mirror with lovely beading details and head piece (estimate: $1,000).
Chairs as Sculpture
Interesting Chairs can be used as art. They don’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, like a serious piece of art, but can achieve the same effect. Mixing things allows each piece to stand on its own and become very special — yin-yang, something complicated next to something simple. Check Lot 12, Pair of gorgeous mid-century bamboo chairs from Provence, (estimate: $800).
Chairs are always the life of the party. That’s what’s fun, adding something unexpected.
Other great buys include Lot 23, Impressive and rare oversized vintage French eight-lamp wall sconce from Provence, (estimate: $700), Lot 37, A classic pair of ceramic gourd table lamps with white linen shades. (Estimate: $400), Lot 54, a fabulous 19th-century antique French servery, with lift-up marble-insert top with insert marble, two drawers and open shelves, (estimate: $700), Lot 84, a charming 20th Century antique French oak mudroom boot bench with seat storage, (estimate: $800). Then there is Lot 98, a pair of impressive, vintage French Chalet faux antler wall shelves, (estimate: $800), Lot 100, A classic aged bronze floor lamp with a stunning, fringed shade. (estimate: $350) and Lot 195, Vintage French timber upholstered footstool (estimate: $100).
“French chic is audacity,” says Isabella. “It means not being afraid of good taste or bad taste, it means freedom.”
Let Isabella’s online March curated sale help simplify your online antiquing – and decorating. Search for your next antique investment from a wide inventory of antique pieces. Whether you’re looking for rare antique furniture or a few vintage pieces to make your space pop, Isabella’s March collection should be your first stop!
The key words are elegant, classic, well-made, generous, understated, good proportions, integrity and character.
“This collection is about investing in your interior”, says Isabella. “It’s important to consider quality over quantity when it comes to collecting your staple interior pieces. You don’t need to do everything at once, but you want to make sure the pieces you have are well-made and will last.”