Antiques for home and away at Adam’s auction

Vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk or a table, chairs and dinner service for 14

 

Adam’s is the only major auction house that holds Sunday auctions, and its first of the 2017 season takes place on February 26th, at the St Stephen’s Green saleroom.

The sale is called At Home, and the catalogue features more than 350 lots including silverware, antique furniture, porcelain and paintings and provides would-be decorators and home-makers with an opportunity to “add exotic charm and that all important layering to your home”.

Layering? According to Adam’s: “Current fashionable interior design trends insist on layering – a decorative scheme with lots of eclectic mixing of textures, colours and styles while avoiding a cluttered look.” But, despite the nod to the contemporary, the sale is primarily a general antiques auction with a traditional mix of lots likely to appeal to a well-heeled clientele.

Formal dining and the use of silver tableware may be on the decline, but Adam’s believes that younger buyers are keen to get in on the act and buy inexpensive, useable pieces that add old-style glamour to a dinner-party table.

Examples include Lot 1, a George III silver entrée dish made by John Houle in London in 1814, described as a piece that “would certainly draw a gasp at the dinner table”, estimated at €1,500-€2,500, and Lot 11, a George III Irish silver coffee pot by John Lloyd, “a well-regarded Dublin silversmith whose restrained style is very much in keeping with today’s taste”, estimated at €800-€1,200, and described as “providing a wow factor for the price of a coffee making machine!”.

Also for the dinner table, Lot 166 is an 85-piece early Victorian Mason’s Ironstone dinner service, complete with tureens and serving dishes, for 14 place settings. It is described as “a stunning example of its kind and in superb condition”, and was originally sold by the Dublin firm Higginbotham, Thomas & Co (€2,000-€4,000).

Entertaining in this style requires a good dining table and the furniture selection includes several options, including Lot 198, a large, late 19th-century mahogany hunting table in the traditional double drop-leaf style, 3.36m (more than 11ft) in length, estimated at €5,000-€8,000, and Lot 236, a Regency mahogany Cumberland dining table (€2,000-€4,000). And, to seat those 14 diners, Lot 235 is a set of 14 George IV mahogany dining chairs, €3,000-€5,000.

Among the very traditional pictures are Lot 134, a set of Malton’s 25 views A Picturesque and Descriptive view of the City of Dublin (€8,000-€10,000), and two oils by Cecil Kennedy, the 20th-century English artist renowned for his flower paintings: Lot 123 Still Life with Wine Cooler and Flowers, €6,000-€10,000 and Lot 133, Still Life with Vase of Flowers (Glass) €5,000-€7,000.

But there’s nothing more evocative of the Irish ‘At Home’ than a real fire and the top lot in the auction, Lot 237, is a large, Irish George III mahogany brass-bound fuel bucket, estimated at €8,000-€12,000.

As the catalogue points out, “the mahogany peat or fuel bucket was a ubiquitous fireside companion in Irish country houses of the Georgian era”, and the elegant design “is desired these days by not just the inhabitants of the great old Irish houses, but also by owners of modern, streamlined, light-filled apartments where the minimalism of their design is appreciated”.

If the thought of being ‘At Home’ is driving you to think about getting away from it all, then Adam’s has the perfect luggage for a round-the-world Cunard cruise: Lot 256, is a “Vintage Louis Vuitton Stencil Monogram Double Wardrobe Steamer Trunk”, dating from circa 1930. Vintage Louis Vuitton luggage has become very expensive and collectible and is regularly snapped up at auction, which explains the estimate of €3,000-€5,000.

The trunk’s hinged interior opens to reveal six fitted drawers to the right, and extending hanging compartment to the left, with original stamped hangers. Itd measures 113 x 57 x 56cm.

If your budget is more Stena Lines to France, then a more affordable option is Lot 257, a “Vintage Louis Vuitton Tan Leather ‘Malle’ Suitcase” estimated at €300-€500. Is this a bargain? The French luxury goods company still makes luggage and a new Alzer 80 model suitcase from its current range is currently for sale via its New Bond Street, London, shop for £9,250, while the latest men’s accessory, a Louis Vuitton ostrich Steamer backpack, is £22,900.

Adam’s, 26 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. ‘At Home’ Auction, Sunday, February 26th at 11am. Viewing from Wednesday. Catalogue and online bidding at adams.ie

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