Monday, March 17, 2008

Rare table saved from skip

A rare table thrown on a skip and saved when its owners had second thoughts has been valued at more than £30,000. The flap top 19th Century walnut table was discovered near Welshpool, Powys, by Jeremy Lamond of Halls auction house in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

"I spotted the table and my heart skipped a beat," said Mr Lamond, who knows of only one other, which is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The piece by designer Edward William Godwin will be auctioned on 21 May. Mr Lamond said he was expecting interest from museums, institutions and furniture dealers in the UK, US and Japan.

The owners of the table, who do not want to be named, had initially consigned the table to a skip where its leg was broken, but they later retrieved it.

The family was astonished when told of its value, said Mr Lamond, fine art director of Shrewsbury-based auction house Halls.

"It's virtually identical to the image on the front cover of the book The Secular Furniture of EW Godwin by Susan Soros, which I have in my office. To the untrained eye it could be passed off as an Edwardian occasional table worth around £30, but I recognised the brass fittings and immediately thought it was by Godwin."

Born in Bristol, Godwin was a progressive English architect-designer who began his career working in the Gothic style of mid-Victorian Britain.

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