Howard & Sons Style Armchairs Outperform at Mallams’ House & Garden Sale

Howard & Sons Style Armchairs Outperform at Mallams’ House & Garden Sale


Mallams’ House & Garden Sale took place on 28 and 29 March and featured an eclectic range of items that enthused both trade and private bidders. Pre-sale viewings at the Abingdon saleroom were very well attended indicating a renewed level of confidence amongst potential buyers.

A pair of late 19th/early 20th century Howard & Sons style armchairs with carved walnut cabriole legs (lot 358) was the star performer, selling for £11,500 against an estimate of £1500-£3000.

Other Howard & Sons style items also exceeded expectations with lot 309 – a modern settee with striped cream upholstery - selling for just over double top estimate at £1100 and a matching pair of armchairs (lot 305) going for £2600, more than four times its £600 top estimate.

There were 12 lots in the wines and spirits section and these were all snapped up. Bidding was particularly strong on a bottle of ‘The Macallan Single Highland Malt Whisky’ (lot 605) which was distilled in 1977, matured for 18 years in sherry casks and bottled in 1995.  Estimated at £500-£800, the price soared ever upwards with the hammer eventually falling at £2000.

A good selection of rugs was featured in the sale and lot 680, a Middle Eastern Persian style Araak red ground rug, sold for £750, 25% above top estimate. Another Middle Eastern rug, this time a Heriz red and blue ground rug featuring a border with polychrome floral heads around a typical medallion motif (lot 679), also performed well, achieving £620 against a £400-£600 estimate.

Coming to Mallams from the collection of Ernst J Grube (1932-2011), the first curator of the Islamic collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, was a Bakhtiari Kelim rug with polychrome decoration (lot 637). Conservatively estimated at £80-£120, competitive bidding pushed the final hammer price to £450.

Ceramic pieces saw strong bidding at the sale, with a rare London Delftware teapot stand (lot 377) achieving £1400 against a £500-£800 estimate. Dating from circa 1720, this rare item was decorated with an island building and a fisherman and featured three scrolling bracket feet.

A 19th century Nantgarw porcelain plate (lot 15), hand decorated with a central floral spray and insects, also piqued interest with a hammer price of £750, 25% over top estimate.

In the garden section, an Italian bronze fountain with a boy playing a pipe and a girl holding a bowl (lot 810), achieved the top slot, selling for £1100, just above low estimate, and lot 787, a set of four Haddonstone figures of the four elements, saw the hammer fall at a mid-estimate £600.

Mallams is now accepting entries for its next Homes & Interiors Sales (on 5 May and 30 May) and its July House & Garden Sale. If you have any interesting items you are considering selling at auction, please email Henry Cooke on or Duncan Lloyd on  for a free, informal valuation.

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 

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