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How Well Does Ercol Furniture Sell at Auction?

Debbie Porter

This extending dining table with two additional leaves sold for £800 in our December 2022 Antique & Collectors auction.

Ercol furniture is an enduring and popular furniture brand, having produced furniture from 1920 to the present day. Testament to the continued interest in Ercol pieces, a plethora of examples have featured in recent auctions, with many pieces being fervently-contested by bidders.

Our December Antique & Collectors sale especially featured a good amount of Ercol furniture, which performed above expectations. Take a look as we highlight some of the best pieces sold recently, as we also delve into a brief history of the Ercol company.

Ercol Furniture: The Beginning

The Ercol story begins with Lucian Ercolani, who at the age of 10 had emigrated with his parents to the UK from Italy in 1898. After leaving school in 1902 and gaining work as a messenger boy with the Salvation Army, he continued his studies at the Shoreditch Technical College, taking evening classes in furniture design.

By 1906, Lucian was working as a joiner with for the Salvation Army, and then in 1910 he was invited by a man named Harry Parker to work for Frederick Parker furniture makers. Lucian accepted and moved to High Wycombe to work at the company which would later become known as renowned furniture business Parker-Knoll, which continues operating to this day.

This glazed cabinet was the second-highest-selling item in our December Antique & Collectors sale, achieving a hammer price of £1,600!

In 1912, Lucian began teaching night classes in High Wycombe, where he met and befriended Ted Gomme. The Gomme family was also of a furniture-making background and Ercolani would form close ties and work with them until 1920. Later, in the 1950s, the Gomme business would go on to be known by a more recognisable name: G Plan.

Sold for £600 in our December 2022 Antique & Collectors sale, this set of six Blonde Windsor dining chairs was another popular lot from December, being contested by multiple bidders.

A New Chapter

While remaining close to the Gomme family, Lucian parted the company and set up Furniture Industries, with his own furniture factory. His company enjoyed success, and in 1932 an opportunity arose to acquire the struggling chair manufacturer Walter Skulls Limited and thus expand the business.

The company continued operating through the Second World War, producing munitions boxes, tent pegs and other items as directed by the government. Later in the war and by this point known as Ercol, they were approached to mass produce low-cost chairs as part of the Utility Furniture Scheme.

This Blonde coffee table with smoke glass lower shelf blew past its estimate in our December 2022 Antique & Collectors sale, reaching a hammer price of £220!

The drive to produce low-cost, yet well-designed furniture carried into the post-war years. Encapsulating this essence, Ercol showed their new Windsor range at the Britain Can Make It exhibition, hosted by the V&A in 1946, and showed again at the 1951 Festival of Britain. In the same year, Lucian was also a founding member of the Furniture Makers Guild, which he would later become master of in 1957.

Another hotly contested item from our December 2022 Antique & Collectors auction was this attractive Blonde bureau, which sold for £440!

A Lasting Legacy

Throughout the decades that followed, Ercol continued to innovate and evolve with the times, introducing new ranges and designs, as well as adopting new technologies and processes. In 2002, the company moved to new factory premises on the outskirts of Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, where they continue to enjoy success, producing furniture in a variety of ranges.

Ercol designs seem to transcend changing tastes, with styles and ranges introduced decades ago retaining their popularity to this day. As a result, Ercol furniture pieces often feature in our auctions and perform strongly – so they are always welcomed in our saleroom.

Sold for £500 – this Blonde three-door, two-drawer sideboard also featured in our December 2022 Antique & Collectors auction and soared above its estimate.

Selling Ercol Furniture at Auction

If you have Ercol furniture you’re looking to sell, their pieces consistently perform well at auction and our staff is well-placed to provide valuations and advice on selling your items.

Call 01782 638100 or email to book a valuation appointment to attend one of our Tuesday valuation days. We also provide valuations via WhatsApp, simply send some clear photographs of your items via the app to 07864 667940.

Additionally, we can send you links to our catalogues via WhatsApp – message the above number via the app and ask to receive our catalogues. Make sure you are subscribed to our email newsletters, too!

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