Fine English Furniture at Woolley and Wallis

Woolley and Wallis are conducting a  two-day Furniture, Works of Art & Clocks auction in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Tuesday 20th April, and Wednesday 21st April 2021.

Amongst many of the superb items on offer is lot 23, a William and Mary oyster veneered and marquetry chest (figure 1) with an estimate of GBP4,000 – GBP6,000 (AUD7,266 – AUD10,900; USD5,563 – USD8,344), which, if it sells within estimate, would seem like a bit of a bargain to me.

Fig. 1. William and Mary marquetry chest, circa 1690. (Woolley and Wallis)

There is also lot 274, an unusual George II mahogany bureau (figure 2) with an estimate of GBP3,000 – GBP5,000 (AUD5,451 – AUD9,084; USD4,169 – USD6,948).

Fig. 2. George II mahogany bureau, circa 1760. (Woolley and Wallis)

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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4 Responses to Fine English Furniture at Woolley and Wallis

  1. potomacker says:

    ‘unusual’ as being early campaign furniture? Or because it is sui generis? It’s so frustrating to not be able to examine the interiors of such a desk. What is your explanation for why the drawer banks are removable. Is the writing section a kind of lapdesk?


    • Jack Plane says:

      The bureau is (quite possibly) unique because of its form. Two-part bureaus are not rare, but I haven’t seen one before with removable banks of drawers such as this one.

      I presume the bureau was intended for use on board ship (supported by the later addition of wooden castors). I assume the drawer banks were removed (the drawers, first, having all been locked) to reduce the overall weight of the lower section when possibly relocating the bureau in a hurry.

      The fall and interior don’t read differently to other bureaux of the era.



  2. Kathy pelly says:

    I live 5 minutes from the auction rooms! I will pop down and have a look!


  3. bobbarnettpe says:

    The George II mahogany bureau is interesting. Apparently they used a shelf to support the top when you open it up. I don’t think I have ever seen that, but I think I like it.


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