I bet we’ve all got a battered piece of old furniture hanging around somewhere: maybe it’s in the attic or the shed. Nostalgia often prevents us from getting rid of it, but eventually we all succumb and vow to throw it away as it’s a bit of an eyesore and has no real intrinsic value. That’s exactly what happened to the family of a man in Northamptonshire they discovered an old threadbare leather Chesterfield sofa in a shed when they cleared the old vicarage following a family bereavement. J P Humbert Auctioneers were called in to value the contents for probate, and agreed to throw the old Chesterfield sofa in a skip such was its condition. That would’ve been the end of the matter, but for a chance remark from the brother of the owner, who just happened to mention that is was such a shame as the 8 foot long Chesterfield settee had once belonged to Churchill.
Naturally that put a different light on matters, and Humber’s agreed to put the item up for auction. Its value was estimated at around £80, given the poor state of the piece. However, to their amazement and that of the family, the Chesterfield sofa eventually sold for an incredible £7500 to an English man living in South Africa. It just goes to show, one man’s junk is another’s treasure. Although there was no written provenance for the settee, it transpired that it had proudly sat in Churchill’s private offices in Whitehall during his second premiership from 1951 to 1955. I wonder which famous rears had actually sat on it over the years.
So, if perchance you happen to have an old Chesterfield settee lying around, think twice before throwing it away. They can always be repaired and can be made to look as good as new. All they need is a little TLC. Besides, you never know who may have previously owned it.