Fill your home with character: Around the world in antique furniture
Did you know the difference between vintage and antique? For something to qualify as ‘antique’, it must be at least one hundred years old. Antiques pay tribute to the richness of design history as it has changed throughout the centuries, across regions, countries and continents. Allow us to take you on a brief trip around the globe in search of wonderful antique finds…
First up… China! These antique walnut armchairs admittedly may not look like the comfiest design ever but their very distinctive square forms definitely set them apart from the crowd. As decorative chairs, they would be fantastic, perhaps with a trailing plant or a sprig of cherry blossom in a vase.
Heading over to neighbouring Japan, we’ve discovered this exquisite set of antique porcelain tea cups. In an enchanting shade of eggshell, they make a stunning set. Imagine sipping green tea one of these, we’re firm believers that the drink ware is just as important as the brew!
Next stop is India and we love the fine detailing carved into this antique Hindu shrine mirror. It has a decorative fretwork above a scalloped edge forming a Mehrab arch and original hooks, where bells or similar hanging ornaments would have hung. This was doubtless a home shrine, where a family would make offerings and burn incense.
Taking quite a hop over to Sweden which has so many beautiful antique designs like this 19th century Gustavian sofa bench. It has been scraped to reveal its original 1860s soft pale grey colour and looks as if it would fit straight into the home of celebrated 19th century family life painter Carl Larsson.
Zoom south to France and we have another vast collection of antiques, one of which is this magnificent late 19th century daybed. Re-upholstered in a vivid orange red fabric, it’s definitely quite a statement piece! The fabric can also be changed to suit your own interior.
Jump over the pond to the British isles! This antique mahogany desk heralds from the Victorian era and is brimming with discreet details… The top is adorned with a gilt tooled leather panel and chamfered edges. The kneehole is flanked by four drawers to the pedestal with beading, nice handles, dovetailed jointing and mahogany lined interiors. It’s raised on slender intricately carved fluted legs ending in brass castors!
Russia is a vast corner of the world comprised of a multitude of regions, each with their own unique design traditions. We have a fantastic collection of antique rugs which have been woven by communities based all over Russia. Full of rich colours and patterns, they make for wonderful pieces to bring into your home.
Image credit: Château du Grand-Lucé, by Timothy Corrigan