There were several bargains to be found at the most recent auction, including this 20th century tin lantern, which sold for $326. It's too bad there weren't a pair of these. It could be used as a center piece or suspended over a dining table with a few candles.
Here’s another winner: A pine armoire including interior shelves used as an entertainment center sold for $148!! You couldn't buy a new piece of furniture of this size and character for that price. I really need something like this to hide my flat screen TV. It could be left as is or painted out in some nice Farrow & Ball paint too—perhaps a Swedish gray, blue, or taupe.
This sofa sold for $415. Wouldn’t it look great if it was reupholstered or slip covered in white or natural linen? A new seat cushion in plump down would be a nice touch too.
These gilt mirrors sold for $625, which is more than I would have paid especially since the one on the left is in such poor condition, but the mirror on the right looks terrific to me. It would be great propped on a wall in a living room, reflecting a fireplace with a roaring fire or in a bedroom as a dressing mirror.
This pair of 20th Century Louis XV style Fauteuils sold for $593. The upholstery is dated, but these could be so nice reupholstered in linen or even a Fortuny-style fabric.
A 20th Century Louis XVI style chair sold for $207. Again, this chair could be lovely once it's stripped of its unappealing gold paint and reupholstered in a plain linen or Swedish check fabric.
Painted Italian style bombe chest also sold for $207. I’m not sure if I’d refinish this or leave it as is. This would be great in a bedroom. A simple country pine chest also sold for $148. This would be useful for extra storage space in a kitchen, dining room or guest bedroom. I’d probably strip or repaint it in a pretty Farrow and Ball color or even distressed black paint with antique style brass hardware.
Eight classic French Limoges porcelain gilt dinner plates for $267. These would be pretty for a holiday table setting.
So, after seeing these pieces I’m going to make an effort to get to the next auction and hunt for some bargains. None of these furnishings are great antiques, but with a little time, do-it-yourself work and money you could have a few affordable and stylish pieces of "new" furniture.
All photos Skinner, Inc.