Bonham's Gentleman's Library Sale

This month Bonham’s held a fantastic and intriguing sale of rare items. As the title tells us this is a sale dedicated to ‘gentlemen’s’ pieces, which seems to cause both bemusement and irritation from reviewers. Nevertheless, the sale hosts an array of spectacular items of furniture, objets d’art and unique, rare items.

With love in the air and Valentine’s Day just around the corner we’ve selected a few of our favourite items which could be perfect gifts for your loved ones!

We loved these two heart-shaped silver mirrors. Both mirrors are Victorian pieces and they are embossed with leafy scrolls, large flower heads and cherubs and are delightfully romantic. We also loved this diamond-set Art Deco box by Van Cleef and Arpels, below centre. The lid features diamonds and rubies. These items would all make lovely Valentine’s Day presents

For people who like to entertain in style, these gorgeous Edwardian silver candlesticks would perfectly compliment an elegant table setting. They were designed by William Hutton & Sons Ltd in 1904 and feature bases with shell corners.

We were also drawn to these elegant silver Art Nouveau picture frames. They would look lovely grouped together to display your family photographs. The frame on the left features enamelled flowers, while the frame on the right has delightful details of twisting scrolls and flowers.

For the young at heart or anyone looking for retro inspiration, this vintage amusement machine could be a real conversation piece to brighten up your home. It is coin-operated and features a spiral ball-bearing track and eleven winning shoots … dig out those old one penny pieces!

This item below also makes for an interesting conversation piece and could be a great purchase for the sailor in the family. The set of marine signal flags and pendants can be displayed in their case on unfurled for greater decorative impact.

Finally we thought this painting would be perfect in a townhouse or holiday home with a neutral colour scheme. It was painted by a member of the English Primitive School in the 18th Century and shows a view of upper Mossley with Alderman’s Hill in the distance. It is a calm, rural scene with a beautiful, subtle and muted colour palette.

Bonham's Period Sale

Bonham’s Period Design and Period Art is a regular sale which is filled with treasures and inspiration. It includes a selection of 18th, 19th and 20th century furniture, works of art, mirrors and rugs from across the world. This month we’ve been busy sourcing items of furniture for various clients and Bonham’s Period Design sale was top on our list!

This blue john urn from the 19th century caught our eye immediately. We particularly like its design with its banded decoration and circular support atop a square marble base. The elegance of this design perfectly highlights and exhibits the beautiful material and its natural colouring. Blue-john began being exported during the 18th Century to France and was used for luxurious objets d’art which were adored by collectors including Marie Antoinette. This semi-precious mineral has retained its luxurious regard and its vivid colouring remains lucid.

Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000

We were also intrigued by this beautiful George III tub back bergere. Its body is made from a richly coloured mahogany with square section tapering legs. Its pastel upholstery balances perfectly with the richness of the wood and this chair would look lovely in either a sitting room or bedroom.

Estimate: £600 - 800

This pair of French 19th century mahogany fauteuils would be lovely in a classically decorated sitting room. Each one has lotus leafed clasped arm supports and square splayed legs, their design is a classic Restoration style from 19th century France. Their solid backs convert a real presence while their soft colouring and fluid arms create a beautiful sense of elegance.

Estimate: £1,000 - 1,500

As well as these wonderful items of furniture, there was a stunning selection of rugs on sale at this month’s Period Design sale.

The Khotan saph below is from East Turkestan. Khotan was an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was on a section of the silk road. It was the first place outside China to begin making silk and Khotanese carpets remain a highly prized export.

Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000

We also loved this Agra carpet, pictured below, which comes from North India. Agra rugs are highly sought after as their material and technique makes them highly durable. Their pattern, design and colours are beautifully detailed and vidid. In the past we have taken inspiration from textiles such as rugs and used this is a basis to form an interior’s colour scheme. If a piece like this really catches your eye it can become a centrepiece and dictate the look and feel of your interior.

Estimate: £3,000 - 5,000

Bonham's 'Britain' - Defining the Interior

This November Bonham’s has an auction of exquisite British pieces of furniture, silver, ceramics, works of art and sculpture. While we love work from across Europe, it is refreshing to view a sale of British pieces and highlights the significance of British craft and design.

Here are our favourite pieces from the sale, you can view more items by viewing the catalogue on Bonham’s website here.

Among the items of furniture were some standout chairs that caught our eye. This pair of Regency mahogany hall chairs we're formerly part of a suite at Brabourne Manor in Kent. They bear the brand of B. Harmer, a contractor who worked for top end firms during the George II period. The chairs are elegant yet retain a sense of solidity with their applied tablet mouldings, dished seats and square moulded outswept legs.

This Regency mahogany side cabinet stood out to us for its elegant and stylish details. Its panel doors are inset with gilt metal grilles and pleated silk panels. The carved lion’s paw feet add a characterful detail. This would look wonderful in a classic interior and its rich colour would really stand out in a subtle colour scheme.

These two George IV gilt wood console tables are a more lavish choice for us, we were dazzled by their materiality. Their white and grey marble tops are inlaid with stylised flowers and leaves. The inlaid details comprises white and brown onyx and green marble. The tops sit on single lion monopodiae and square plinth bases which are equally luxurious with their exquisite detail and opulent gold colour. Inside a classic interior, these tables would be truly eye catching.

These black lacquer stools are from 19th Century Chinese-export. Their ‘X’ form legs, gilt chinoiseries and rectangular padded buttoned seats are a beautifully exotic style that would look lovely in a classic interior.

At Devas Designs we enjoy mixing the old and new and often place items of antique furniture in contemporary interiors. These stools with their characterful design and rich colours could look intriguing in a subtle toned, fresh contemporary room and add a real charm.