Auction Of Fine Furniture From Century Old Antiques Firm – Smiths Of Harrogate

Bonhams in Knightsbridge is delighted to be selling selected contents from the venerable antiques firm, Smiths of Harrogate. The sale, which will be held on Tuesday 3 June 2008, features over 120 lots of fine antique furniture dating from 1760-1915. Both traditional English furniture and Continental pieces are represented in the sale, with estimates ranging from £200-20,000.

The Smith family first opened its antiques business in Harrogate in the genteel days of Edwardian England. The family began trading from a small shop in 1906, however, over time the range of antiques offered expanded and the firm moved to its current premises – The Rink – a former roller skating rink. Despite most of the building being requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft during World War II and the family’s own war efforts, business carried on as usual. When the current owner Reg Smith entered the business in 1950 restrictions of choice from the wartime period of ration books were quickly replaced by an era signalling the regeneration of stylish and uninhibited furniture manufacture. As a consequence the firm began to offer not only antique furniture but also reproduction and modern furnishings. It is this side of the business that the Smith family wish to concentrate on in future and as part of the process of restructuring the firm have instructed Bonhams to sell its collection of antique furniture.

Bonhams sale features a large selection of Edwardian and Victorian furniture including a vast range of late 19th Century French Revival furniture and several magnificent items by Gillows. Pieces have been hand picked by the Smith family for their superb condition, aesthetic appeal and academic interest. Charlie Thomas, Head of Bonhams Knightsbridge Furniture Department is delighted to be involved in the sale: “ The contents of Smiths of Harrogate reflect the deserved and unsurpassed reputation that this establishment boasts. The Smith family has over a hundred years of experience in the business and as such are true connoisseurs with a meticulous eye for detail. The furniture in this collection is of the highest quality and we anticipate a very successful sale”.

Highlights from the sale include:

A pair of Victorian walnut, tulipwood banded and gilt metal mounted side cabinets circa 1870, £4,000-6,000
An impressive early 20th Century mahogany open and blind fret carved display cabinet circa 1920 in the Chinese Chippendale style, £3,000-5,000 A good mid 18th Century Dutch walnut and floral marquetry bureau cabinet circa 1740, £8,000-12,000
A good Victorian satinwood, purplewood and foliate marquetry kidney shaped pedestal desk circa 1890, £5,000-7,000
An impressive large Edwardian satinwood and polychrome decorated breakfront bookcase circa 1900, £15,000-20,000
A fine Victorian walnut, purplewood and gilt metal mounted bonheur du jour circa 1880, made by Gillows in the Louis XV style, £5,000-7,000
A good George III plum pudding mahogany gentleman’s linen press circa 1765, £2,500-3,500
An early 20th Century large carved giltwood sun burst convex mirror circa 1919, £2,000-3,000
A good Edwardian satinwood and tulipwood banded sideboard, made by Gillows, circa 1900, £1,500-2,000
A good mid 18th Century Dutch walnut and floral marquetry bureau cabinet circa 1740, £8,000-12,000

Viewing will take place at Bonhams, Montpellier Street, Knightsbridge, London on Sunday 1 June between 11.00-15.00 and Monday 2 June between 9.00-19.30. The sale will commence at 11.00 on Tuesday 3 June 2008.