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Sotheby's Smashes World Record for Any Piece of English Furniture Sold at Auction
An important George III gilt-lacquered brass mounted fustic, rosewood, tulipwood and marquetry commode, almost certainly by Thomas Chippendale, circa 1770 sold for: £3,793,250 ($5,980,438). Photo: Sotheby's.
LONDON.- In the midst of the excitement surrounding the record price achieved for Audubon’s Birds of America yesterday, another world record was set in a different field. An exquisite serpentine-shaped Harrington Commode, dating to circa 1770 and almost certainly crafted by Thomas Chippendale, exceeded the previous world record for any piece of English furniture at auction* by over £1 million. Following a stretch of prolonged bidding in the sale room, the commode achieved a sum three times that of its high estimate of £3,793,250 / $5,980,438 (est. £600,000-1,000,000), setting an exciting new benchmark for English furniture.

Commenting on the sale, Henry House, Head of English Furniture at Sotheby’s and the auctioneer for the sale, commented: “This remarkable commode which is outstandingly beautiful in both form and condition, was keenly contested by five bidders, the final price demonstrating true demand in the market for items of real quality, and I feel is justly deserved for an item that has been an honour to sell.”

The George III commode, almost certainly crafted by Thomas Chippendale and previously housed at Elvaston Castle , Derbyshire, was sold by order of the Trustees of the 10th Earl of Harrington’s Will Trust as part of the Important Furniture, Ceramics, Clocks, Silver & Vertu sale. The sale made £6,216,750 against an estimate £2,874,000 - £4,403,000.

Sotheby's | Henry House | Thomas Chippendale |

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