What are these reader treasures worth?

Is it a sofa, is it a chair, is it a chaise longue? It is all to do with fashion.

Is it a sofa, is it a chair, is it a chaise longue? It is all to do with fashion. - Credit: Archant

Mike Hicks answers more of your collecting queries.

A wonderful bible with superb binding - but sadly, they do not make what they are really worth toda

A wonderful bible with superb binding - but sadly, they do not make what they are really worth today. - Credit: Archant

Reader John asked us about the value of his chaise longue, and whether it was of interest in today's market.

The first thing is that I think it is a sofa rather than a chaise longue. These sofas often were a part of a seven- or nine-piece suite. The chaise longue could have been part as well.

The chaise longue itself has had a chequered history. It was quite an important piece of furniture in the late 18th, early 19th century, particularly during the Regency period. Some of those made were to incredibly high quality, many of them with gilding, superb brass fittings and occasionally, very detailed carving.

In recent years, they were popular for being placed at the foot of a bed, ideal for throwing unwanted clothes on, when getting ready for bed, but they tended to be quite long and maybe wider than the bed itself. They found an alternative place in the home, ideal for one person to lay down with a large box of chocolates and a bunch of grapes, relax, feet up, watching tennis from Wimbledon!

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These days, though, few people seem to want to adopt that particular mood. Consequently, the value of the chaise longue has dropped considerable, unless they happen to fall into the high-quality Regency bracket.

The other factor to take into consideration is the cost of re-upholstery. Even without the cost of material, this could run into several hundred pounds, and this in itself can be a bit of a deterrent. But the chaise longue with elegant shapes, beautifully-carved backs and not-too-ugly feet, will always find a market. Value today can be anything between £150 to £1000, with quality the byword in every case.

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We have also received an email from a lady called Judy, who was asking 'I am having a clear-out and found this Bible belonging to my great grandfather - Harry Smith. The date engraved on the bottom clasp is November 24 1876. The top clasp is engraved 'Harry Smith, Attleborough'. Inside you can see that he married at Stalham Church on December 14 1886. The size is 13in x 10in x 3.5in depth and is in very good condition. I wonder if it has any value?'

Most bibles have very little retail value, unless they are printed before 1600. Obviously, there are exceptions. Large bibles such as yours currently make somewhere between £30-£50 at auction. However, in your case, I do feel there is quite a local interest because of the Attleborough and Stalham links.

The colour plates are amazing and the overall condition is so good, but, sadly, these kind of family bibles do have a finite value.

Mike Hicks runs Stalham Antique Gallery at 29 High Street, Stalham (NR12 9AH). You can contact Mike on 01692 580636 or info@mikehicksantiques.co.uk.

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