One of the most common objects collected by antique collectors are antique furniture. Where this is concerned, it relates to objects that make a room or a specific space ready and more convenient for occupancy where they are specifically intended for common activities like sleeping, eating or storage.
Hence, when it comes to furniture, it would essentially mean that you are talking about objects like chairs, tables, wardrobe, cupboards, beds and such. In certain contexts, they also refer to clocks and lights as well where they would serve both functional and decorative reasons.
If you are collecting antique furniture, you will come across a lot of different elements because throughout history, different furniture have been used for different reasons in different environments. You will come across the exquisite and elegant chairs and tables of the medieval times or you could also notice the hard-wooden chairs and tea tables used by the Chinese during its different historical eras.
Among the antique furniture that you would have heard of or come across, among the most earliest ones that were recorded are the ones from Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The unique element about this is that it dates back all the way to 2,000 BC which means it is more than 4,000 years old if they are still around.
This is obviously during the Stone Age when they made their own cupboards for storage and living areas for sleeping. The Middle Ages had different furniture where there were rooms which were basically used for dining, sleeping and functions as a living room. This is where you will find a long table with benches and such and pretty much mirrors the dining tables of today.
It was towards the late Middle Ages that carvings began to surface on furniture and this was slowly used by the Gothic style of design and hence, one would notice Gothic carvings and arches on the objects. The Gothic style would continue to grow and flourish through the eleventh and fifteenth century and then animals and figurines were used.
The Renaissance period saw more functional furniture made that include chest of drawers, cabinets, upholstered chairs and such, all of which were made that depicted more detailed carvings and motifs. Veneering came about around the 17th century while other techniques like inlaying and lacquering too became common. This was also the time when grandfather clocks started to gain more popularity.
The 18th century saw luxury hit a new note with the rich wanting more exclusivity and comfort and this was when Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite became widely popular. Only in the 19th century that furniture enjoyed mass productions and in the 20th century, more affordable furniture was produced.
Today, the most expensive piece of furniture ever sold is the Badminton Cabinet. Made in the 18th century by Henry Somerset, the 3rd Duke of Beaufort, it has been the most expensive furniture ever sold twice when it fetched the price of $15 million and $8 million respectively.