Dreweatts to Offer Antique Furniture From Chevertons of Edenbridge

. May 4, 2009

Dreweatts, the UK’s largest exclusively regional auctioneers, will on Tuesday 12th May be offering some 376 lots of fine English furniture from the long-established Kent dealer Chevertons of Edenbridge. To be held at the auctioneers’ Donnington Priory salerooms, the sale is expected to appeal to trade buyers and private collectors in equal measure.

Chevertons came into being in 1910, but it was with the arrival of legendary antiques world figure David Adam in 1961 that the firm really began to make its mark. David soon became a director, and in 1966 he bought Chevertons, from which point he proceeded to build an enterprise which soon became a byword for quality and an internationally recognised institution in the antiques trade.

In the early days of his career, David travelled over a thousand miles a week, buying a wide range of antique furniture, primarily with a view to selling on to other traders. The arrival of consignments in Edenbridge was eagerly awaited by an ever-growing band of less adventurous dealers who respected his keen eye, so much so that many would regularly sleep in their vehicles in anticipation of getting the pick of the crop as it was unloaded.

The Seventies saw Chevertons establish a lucrative transatlantic trade, with an operation in the USA that contributed to a period of exponential growth – the firm became one Britain’s largest antiques businesses, with a turnover at one point of nearly £5,000,000.

After clocking up nearly half a century in the antiques trade, David Adam has now retired, and his son Angus (who has worked alongside his father for many years) is now at the helm of the family business. Having astutely decided to focus more directly on the interior decoration market (in addition to maintaining a strong presence at the major London fairs), Angus will be relocating to a new premises in Forest Row in East Sussex.

This sale will allow the discerning collector to buy from the stock of a highly regarded market leader that has traded at the pinnacle of its sector for nearly fifty years. The sheer quality of the stock, and the strong focus on decorative objects, will be especially attractive to those seeking to furnish houses in a quintessentially English style that transcends passing fashions.

Among the earlier examples of fine furniture on offer is a William and Mary olive-wood oyster veneered chest of drawers (see illustration). Dating from circa 1690, this beautiful yet practical item carries a pre-sale estimate of £6,000-8,000.

It is the Georgian era, however, which is best represented in the Chevertons catalogue – perhaps the most striking piece from this, the Golden Age of English furniture design is the sale’s cover lot, a George IV giltwood and specimen marble table, circa 1825, in the manner of Seddon & Co. Inspired by the kind of items brought back to England by young gentlemen returning from the Grand Tour, this highly decorative piece is offered with an estimate of £5,000-7,000.

Dating from around the same time, but sporting a later painted finish entirely in keeping with the period, is a pair of Regency style painted side cabinets estimated at £2,000-3,000. Epitomising why a great deal of private interest in this sale is anticipated, these cabinets would make spectacular additions to a well-heeled interior and are ready to be placed in a domestic setting without the need for any further attention.

Whilst the sheer excellence of items is reflected in the large number of lots which carry estimates in the thousands rather than hundreds, there are numerous pieces at the lower end which are very inexpensive and still retain the mark of quality synonymous with the Chevertons name. A good example is a George IV mahogany and parcel ebonised pier mirror, circa 1825, which typifies the solidity and craftsmanship of English furniture in the Georgian period, and yet is offered for sale at a mere £200-300.

The furniture department at Dreweatts are particularly pleased to have been entrusted with this task by such an eminent name in the antiques trade. Commenting on the forthcoming sale, deputy chairman of Dreweatts Clive Stewart-Lockhart said: “Chevertons have become an iconic name in our business over the years, and it is a privilege for us to be the firm’s chosen partner at this significant moment in their history”.

A pdf of the full catalogue can be found at http://www.dnfa.com/catalogues/13118.pdf

Dreweatts Donnington Priory Salerooms near Newbury in Southern England holds regular specialist antique and fine art sales.

http://www.dnfa.com/donnington/

Illustration: William and Mary olive-wood oyster veneered chest of drawers

Category: Antiques News

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