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  • Posts Tagged ‘Apter-Fredericks’


    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

    The Leinster House cabinets sold for £106,250 at Christie’s in London today. By Thomas Chippendale junior they were part of a remarkable furniture sale entitled Apter-Fredericks: 75 Years of Important English Furniture. Originally at Leinster House, then at Carton, they remained in the possession of the FitzGerald family over the centuries. The hammer price was £85,000 and the top estimate was £60,000.

    A Regency Imperial extending dining table by Gillows of Lancaster commissioned for Westport House sold for £87,500. The sale of 140 lots brought in £3,408,750.

    (See posts on for June 3, 2015, December 3, 2020, January 2, 2021 and January 17, 2021)

    The Leinster House cabinets.


    Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

    From the Westport House table to the Leinster House cabinets there is much of Irish interest in a sale for furniture specialists at Christie’s in London on January 19.  Apter-Fredericks: 75 Years of Important English Furniture encompasses some spectacular Irish pieces as it marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. Internationally renowned for the superlative quality, condition and provenance of their pieces, Apter-Fredericks remains an industry byword for the very finest furniture and works of art, a reputation which has been built by three generations of the family over the last 75 years. The firm is giving up their Fulham Road, London showroom in order to spend more time in pursuit of masterpieces and visiting clients.

    It is a great pity that at home and abroad the new world that beckons makes little room for fine antique shops like this in expensive downtown locations.  Antique furniture is  as green as you can get. So it is more than a little perverse that in a world with growing awareness of the urgent need to tackle climate change there is little room for shops selling the ultimate recyclable.

     A c1750 Irish side table. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £30,000

    Christie’s wlll offer 140 lots including work by the foremost craftspeople and designers of the 18th and 19th centuries like Chippendale, Ince and Mayhew, Linnell, Gomm, Lock, Bullock and Gillows, as well as some Chinese works of art. The Westport House dining table (£50,000-£80,000), capable of extending beyond 30 feet, is attributed to Gillows. It was purchased by Howe Peter Browne (1788-1845), the 2nd Marquess of Sligo.  As governor of Jamaica he supported the emancipation of slaves. It is possible that the mahogany for the table came from Jamaica.The Leinster House cabinets (£40,000-£60,000), are thought to have been commissioned by the 2nd Duke of Leinster in 1777-78 and have been in the possession of the FitzGerald family ever since. Another highlight is a c1750 Irish side table. The carved pierced apron with foliage, shells and a central cartouche with a bird, is a good example of the Irish style. It came from a private collection in the US.A c1740 side table is described as English or possibly Irish. Apter-Frederick say the quirky nature of the overall proportion suggests a provincial or Irish origin.  There is an Irish bottle stand and an Irish George III giltwood and verre eglomise mirror. Verre egomise is a process where there is both a design and gilding on glass to produce a mirror finish.  This one, dated 1798, is by Josias Phillips, Wards Hill, Dublin.

    (See post on for December 3, 2020)

     Irish George III giltwood mirror. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £18,750


    Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

    The Westport House table (above) and the Leinster House cabinets (below) are among the highly important pieces of furniture due to come under the hammer at Christie’s in London next January 19. The Apter-Fredericks, 75 Years of Important English Furniture sale will comprise 140 lots. There are pieces by the foremost craftsmen and designers of the 18th and 19th centuries including Chippendale, Ince & Mayhew, Linnell, Gomm, Lock, Cobb, Bullock and Gillows, as well as a selection of Chinese works of art. Internationally renowned for the superlative quality, condition and provenance of their pieces, Apter-Fredericks remains an industry byword for the very finest furniture and works of art, a reputation which has been built by three generations of the family over the last 75 years. 

    A statement by Harry and Guy Apter reads: ‘For 75 years Apter-Fredericks have enjoyed dealing in the finest furniture, welcoming clients, old and new, to our Chelsea showroom and placing wonderful pieces in their homes, as well as occasionally in museums. After 40 years in the business, a new world and a new way of working has developed and it has become clear to us both that we no longer want or need a showroom in central London to continue to thrive and do business successfully. We see a future where we hold less stock and are able to spend more time both in the pursuit of masterpieces and visiting our clients”.

    The Westport House table is estimated at £40,000-50,000, the Leinster House cabinets at £40,000-60,000.


    Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

    The venerable London antique firm Apter-Fredericks is closing three floors of showrooms and moving to an online business model. In mid September they will vacate the Fulham Road premises, their location for the past 73 years. A company statement said: “Despite this change, Apter-Fredericks is still committed to dealing in the finest eighteenth century English furniture.  We are keen to embrace the future and operate in the new norm.  Our business will continue to offer fine and important pieces of English furniture to private clients, interior designers and institutions. We shall be available to assist in sourcing, selling and restoration.”

    The firm will continue to present our stock by website and will be available to view by appointment and at art fairs – specifically Masterpiece London and the Winter Show New York.

    “In giving up the shop with our three floors of showrooms, we find our storerooms rather over-stretched.  We would encourage you to contact us should you require any furniture or should you have been considering a particular piece of stock in the past, all of which will be sold at the most agreeable prices.”    


    Saturday, January 19th, 2019

    An Irish side table in New York show.

    The scallop shell motif reveals this table as an Irish piece.  Apter Fredericks describe it as English or Possibly Irish at their display at The Winter Show, now in full swing at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.  The George II carved mahogany side table dates to 1740 and is 33″ wide.  The marble was replaced and the jardiniere added by a previous owner.

    This is the 65th anniversary of the New York Winter Show, the leading art, antiques and design fair in America.  New exhibitors this year include Lowell Libson and Jonny Yarker (London), Charles Ede (London) and Erik Thomsen Gallery (New York).    Libson and Yarker present a pair of the largest surviving sketches of baroque ceilings made in Britain, Ede showcases exceptional ancient objects from Egypt, Greece and Rome and Thomsen is a specialist in Japanese art.  There are 68 exhibitors in total.

    Specially curated booths include H. Blairman and Sons Ltd., of London illuminating the English Arts and Crafts movement with works by Ernest Gimson, Peter Waals, Alfred Bucknell and Eric Sharpe as well as a roomful of 19 woven wool panels by William Morris in the campion pattern.

    The fair, which spans everything from antiquity to contemporary photography, continues to broaden its scope and introduce established and emerging exhibitors to new and expanding audiences.  It runs until January 27.


    Sunday, April 8th, 2018

    This chair now at Apter-Fredericks was at the 1954 Grosvenor House Antiques Fair where it was described as having survived since about 1750 with the patina of age unspoilt by restoration.

    For many years now the market for so called “brown furniture” has been in the doldrums.  At last this just might be starting to change. Renewed interest in antique furniture has been noted on the international market.

    After the Winter Antiques Show in New York premier London dealers Apter-Fredericks reported that they had engaged with clients in a way that suggested brown furniture might be back. Since the January show Apter Fredericks say that English furniture continued to sell well in February and March.  Demand, they say, has returned and regular sales are continuing.
    New York’s winter show is the leading art, antiques and design fair in the US. If influential designers  and their clients there are showing interest in brown furniture it is safe to assume that the rest of the market will not be far behind.  Such a development is as welcome as it is long overdue.
    This should be of great interest in Ireland as we tend to mirror international trends very closely.  Things are improving here since the depths of the recession, but when it comes to antique furniture there is still an awful lot of ground to be made up.
    Apter-Fredericks, a long established third generation London institution based on Fulham Road in Chelsea, report that designers and clients alike are recognising the warmth that rich woods and patina bring to a room.  “As news of this renewed interest spreads so will the finer things start coming to the market”.  This institution will always select furniture based on colour, patination, originality and value.  And so should you.


    Thursday, October 13th, 2016

    The online development of the market for art and antiques was boosted this week with the announcement that Invaluable will be marquee sponsors for both TEFAF New York and TEFAF Maastricht.  The new association is to launch at TEFAF New York Fall, which runs from October 22-26 at the Park Avenue Armoury.  TEFAF’s debut fair outside Europe will feature 94 of the world’s most illustrious dealers of fine art, design, furniture and jewelry from antiquity through the early 20th century.

    Invaluable’s experience is in helping galleries and dealers develop robust digital strategies and connect with the company’s collector base from 180 countries. In the coming months Invaluable and TEFAF will launch the TEFAF Digital Excellence Program powered by Invaluable to provide dealers with the digital tools necessary to grow their business and connect with new buyers online.

    The Lulworth Castle Dragon Chairs will be at the Apter Fredericks stand at TEFAF New York

    The Lulworth Castle Dragon Chairs will be at the Apter Fredericks stand at TEFAF New York

    Apter Fredericks of London will bring this pair of  George III mounted blue john perfume burners to TEFAF New York

    Apter Fredericks of London will bring this pair of George III mounted blue john perfume burners to TEFAF New York


    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

    One of the Leinster House cabinets.

    One of the Leinster House cabinets.

    A pair of corner cabinets designed for Leinster House have surfaced with leading London dealers Apter-Fredericks with a price tag of £250,000 plus.  The exceptionally fine c1775 cabinets, known as encoigneurs, were made for William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster.

    Apter-Fredericks say they have only recently come to light, having been in the possession of the FitzGerald family since the late 18th century. They are listed in the firm’s latest catalogue.

    Following the sale of Leinster House to the RDS in 1815 the cabinets were removed to Carton House, home to the Dukes of Leinster until 1949. They are recorded in the ante-room at Carton circa 1887. After Carton they went to Kilkea Castle in Co. Kildare and finally to Ramsden in Oxfordshire.

    Leinster House – home to the Irish Parliament or Houses of the Oireachtas since 1922 –  was built in 1745. By the 1770’s, when it was owned by the 2nd Duke, only the great first floor gallery remained to be completed.  So William FitzGerald commissioned renowned neo-classical architect and designer James Wyatt – who had previously worked with his uncle the 3rd Duke of Richmond – to design the gallery. Wyatt’s designs for the entire room do not exist.  The Penrose Album in the National Library of Ireland contains a watercolour showing an end wall in the gallery.

    A detail of the cabinet.

    A detail of the cabinet.

    Almost all the decorative elements in the room – winged sphinxes, scrolled acanthus and urns – are echoed in the decoration of the corner commodes.   The furniture would have worked together with the door cases and chimney pieces to create a sophisticated neo-classical space.  This reflected the 2nd Duke of Leinster’s interest in the antique art and decoration he had seen while on his Grand Tour in Italy between 1766 and 1768.
    Apter-Fredericks describe the commodes as: A magnificent, museum quality pair of corner cabinets or encoigneurs in satinwood, with purple heart and tulip wood bandings, and inlaid neo-classical designs to the most exceptionally high standard. Furniture of this quality could only have been made by one of a small handful of cabinet makers from this period, namely Mayhew and Ince and Thomas Chippendale.  Apter-Fredericks, Important English Furniture, is at Fulham Road, London SW3.

    A detail.

    A detail.

    A view of the top.

    A view of the top.

    A detail.

    A detail.