Feeling at Home with Second Hand September: Interiors at Auction

As Second Hand September draws to a close, there are still plenty of chances to enrich your home with the perfect auction purchase.

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Pro Auction Limited often offers furniture from hotels, such as its recent sale of fixtures and fittings from the Dorchester Hotel. It’s a great way to get a lightly used, high quality piece of functional furniture. Among the highlights at the recent sale was this wing back mid-century inspired accent chair, which went for £150.

These days shopping smart means finding a way to buy that is kind to both people and the planet. In 2019, Oxfam launched Second Hand September, which encourages people to buy only second-hand items for 30 days in the month of September.

Buying furniture at auction is an eco-friendly way to shop for your interior and equal, and sometimes lesser, cost. Buying an armchair second-hand, for example, saves 0.16 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared with buying one new, according to a report commissioned by Auction Technology Group.

Often these pieces are a bit more individual than new ones and can tell more of a story in your home.

Want to put your own stamp on it? No problem. According to the same study, reupholstering a second-hand sofa has a footprint of around 177kg CO2e, still lower than that of buying of a new sofa.

Beyond furniture, auction can provide lots of interior design solutions. It’s not just flat art, but all manner of decorative art, from clocks to sculptures to vases to rugs.

Below we round up some objects not to miss out on before Second Hand September ends – and remember, you can always buy at auction during the other 11 months too.

Visit the following links to find upcoming lots: Furniture, Chairs, Seat, Tables, Mirrors, Decorative art, Carpets & Rugs.

And read our buying guides to get the inside track on what and how to shop at auction – Tables, Chairs, Prints, Moorcroft, Furniture, Mouseman, Ercol, English table clocks.

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Talk about telling a story – this 19th century armchair with a square back and downswept arms has been eye-catchingly part upholstered in carpet sections. It goes under the hammer at Aldridges of Bath on September 27 with an estimate of £80-120.

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The name Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thomson (1876-1955) inspires desire in many. The British furniture designer signed his pieces with an instantly recognisable (and copiable, so be careful) carved mouse, visible on the left leg of this Mouseman oak refectory table. This particular piece was not the work of Mouseman’s own hand, but is the work of his studio, produced by Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen in York during the 1970s. It has an estimate of £1000-1500 at Bonhams’ Oak Furniture, Folk and Naïve Art sale of September 27.

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Get the mid-century look with this Skovby rosewood dining suite, c.1970s/80, which comprises an extending dining table with extra leaves and six matching chairs with upholstered seats. It is offered at Byrne’s of Chesters during its two-day fine sale on September 28 and 29, and has an estimate of £150-250.

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Estimated to take £60-100, this French silver coloured metal mounted tortoiseshell miniature carriage timepiece is part of Bamfords’ sale of the Ian and Sharon Aitken collection on September 26-27.

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Offered at Reeman Dansie of Colchester in its East Anglian Fine Art and Antiques Sale (September 27-28), this William de Morgan ruby lustre fish vase has an estimate of £2000-3000.  

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