How Important is Provenance With Antiques?

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Collectors of antiques often pay special attention to the provenance. Provenance provides you with a history of ownership and the related documentation of antique pieces. Provenance is an essential factor while purchasing antiques. It can add substantial value, as also attribute past ownership to famous or important historical places or figures. It is one of the strongest proofs of authenticity if the right and consistent documentation without any gaps are available.
Provenance can also provide a glance through the historical significance of a particular piece. With this, comes the details such as where the piece was made, its purchase and sale history, places that it has travelled, homes that it has been a part of etc. Included is also the details of the auction houses, shops, dealers, or galleries that sold the item, the collections in which it has been held, or the exhibitions where it has been displayed.
Detailed documentation of the item's journey through time adds to the value of the piece and confirms its authenticity. At Period Oak, we have quite a few pieces with a rich past and documentation to prove it.
Check out this magnificent 27ft 6" rare Rufford Abbey Oak Refectory Table for instance. This belonged to the Rufford Abbey in 1938, and sold by Knight, Frank & Rutley in conjunction with Christie, Mason etc. It has been described in Country Life as a ′noble refectory table 26ft long′ (Country Life, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 2173, 10th September 1938, p. 244). Also described in a report of the result of the sale as ′a late 17th century English oak refectory table, on ten baluster legs, joined by plain stretcher foot-rails £126′ (Connoisseur Vol. 10, 1938). At Thame Park by 1957, where illustrated in Country Life, Vol. CXXII, No. 3176, and described (p.1151) as from Rufford Abbey.
We have quite a historic pieces in our collection with a well-documented past. If provenance is important to you, do have a look at our collection.