Antiques Roadshow: Rare 18th century Chippendale chair given whopping six figure valuation

Antiques Roadshow: Pastel painting valued at up to £8,000

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Fiona Bruce and the Antiques Roadshow team was in Newby Hall, Yorkshire last month and BBC One viewers tuned in to see treasures included a letter by Roald Dahl and some rare football memorabilia. Midway through the episode, Fiona introduces Elaine Binning who was within the confines of the Hall taking a closer look at an incredible rare chair which was valued at £500,000 upwards. 

Fiona said: “There’s one rather practical object that often features on the Roadshow – the chair. 

“Whether it’s visitors taking a break in them, experts hiding court on them, and, of course, valuing them. 

“But here’s one particular chair at Newby Hall that really steals the show. Our furniture specialist Elaine Binning is taking a closer look. 

“It’s so valuable, she can only bring it as far as the porch,” the presenter added. 

Elaine began: “So everyone’s heard the name, Thomas Chippendale, the well-known 18th-century furniture maker. 

“And here is a magnificent chair that’s been made by him in this sort of transitional neoclassical style. 

“He was a driven and ambitious man and he understood the value of marketing. 

“And in 1754, he published his designs in The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director,” she continued to explain. 

“Titled nobility, gentry and then cabinet makers all around the country and overseas subscribed and really, that’s the thing that would make him famous. 

“It’s absolutely thrilling to be standing next to a Chippendale chair, but in particular to be standing next to this Chippendale chair, because this comes from a suite of chairs that all have the original upholster. 

“And they’re the only Chippendale chairs in the world that have the original upholstery,” Elaine revealed. 

“The tapestry room here at Newby is the only intact Chippendale interior in the world.” 

So how much would the item be worth should it go to an auction? 

Elaine said: “As far as a valuation goes, on a chair like this, the owners of the house believe that chair would be worth half a million pounds. 

“But, because they’re unique, it’s as long as a piece of string. It’s anyone guess!”  

Robert Copley, Christie’s International Head of Furniture called Thomas Chippendale “Britain’s greatest cabinet-makers”. 

He excelled in every style he worked in, from the whimsical rococo and the fashion for all things Chinese in his early career, to the neoclassical with its straight lines derived from the ancient world. 

“His reputation spread far beyond the shores of his homeland and his genius is reflected in the number of beautifully designed and executed pieces of furniture that survive in excellent condition nearly 250 years after his death,” he went onto say. 

Robert also discussed the The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director in more detail: “[It] catalogued 160 Chippendale designs that could be built for clients, or that other cabinet-makers could copy. 

“Published in 1754, it undoubtedly launched his career.

“Chippendale was an astute businessman, and the Director was aimed at promoting his trade.” 

Robert explained how Chippendale’s intention was “to sign up 400 subscribers” who would then received the “160 plates either bound at £1.14 shillings or loose at £1.10 shillings”.

Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday night at 8pm on BBC One. 

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