DINING TABLE FOR 2

TOP Sheraton satinwoodpolescreen, from Mallett & Son (Antiques). RIGHT Painted leather screen depicting a late-sixteenth-century view of Exeter, sold by Bonhams for £3,000 ANTIQUES LEFT Nineteenth-century Japanese paper screen, from Spink & Son. BELOW George IVcheval screen bookcase, after a design by George Smith, sold by Christie ‘sfor £4,830 piece is incomplete, especially if lost panels interfere with the overall design. â˜Nevertheless,’ says Edward Lennox-Boyd of Christie’s, â˜screens are tremendous survivors, and the basic message is that they may be chipped or restored but if they look good they tend to sell well.’ A prime example of the seductive power of â˜decorative appeal’ was a pretty, but much restored, Victorian decoupage screen which came up for sale in a castle in County Durham a few months ago. It was realistically estimated to sell for £1,000 to £1,500, but more than one bidder yearned for it, and it went for £6,900. Screens remained popular in the early years of this century and sales of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century decorative arts often include unusual, modestly priced examples. Three Art Nouveau-style screens â˜in the manner of Aubrey Beardsley’ (in other words, made well after his time but imitating his work) were on offer recently at Phillips with price tags of between £150 and £200, while a striking fourfold screen decorated with panels of machine-woven silk that was reputed to have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and to have been won by his sister the Grand Duchess Olga in a bet, made £1,320 at Christie’s South Kensington not long ago.


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