We have recently received an oak settle designed by George Walton which is to be included in our next 20th Century Art & Design sale on Thursday 20th May. The settle was produced by William Birch of High Wycombe, a highly-skilled manufacturer of Arts & Crafts furniture at the time. Birch was responsible for most of the seating sold at Liberty & Co at the beginning of the 20th century and worked with designers such as E.G. Punnett and E.G. Punnett and Leonard Wyburd. The settle was sold by Liberty at the turn of the century around 1905 during the height of the movement.
Much of the Arts & Crafts furniture of the time was retailed by Liberty & Co, London. The store was founded in 1875 by Arthur Liberty with its premises on Regent Street. From its inception, Liberty was inspired by middle eastern and north African design, regularly importing furniture from the orient. There was a craze for Egyptology at the time following on from the aftermath of Napoleon's invasion ending in 1801 which brought the first Egyptian antiquities to the continent. However, after a few years of successful business Liberty opened a furnishing and Decoration studio under the direction of Leonard Wyburd to start selling items manufactured slightly closer to home.
The chair above is also included in the sale and is a single oak side chair with a rush seat manufactured by William Birch circa 1920. Outside of furniture we also have a number of hammered Arts & Crafts copper and pewter to include a tray by Hugh Wallis circa 1900 and a panel from the Keswick School of Industrial Arts.
Furniture and decorative items from this era are achieving strong prices with works by designers such as Archibald Knox, Richard Norman Shaw and William Arthur Smith Benson achieving top prices. If you have any Arts & Crafts items to sell at auction please contact our specialist Harry Pickup at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free valuation or click here to submit an online form. The deadline for entries is Friday 23rd April.