I’m sure I’ve seen that sofa somewhere else

Allan Blackburn
Allan Blackburn

This weekend, 
my wife Gloria and I went 
out for a meal 
to a lovely little restaurant just outside Preston.

Before we were taken to our seats at the table, we sat on a lovely Chesterfield sofa in the lounge area.

I remarked that it was a stunning piece and one that was familiar.

Gloria told me not to be so silly, that there are literally thousands of gorgeous Chesterfield sofas and chairs around.

Imagine my surprise when I got talking to the owner.

I asked him about the origins of the sofa and he 
said it had come from 
an antique shop in Lancaster.

Gloria’s face was a picture.

I told him my name and said I was the owner of GB Antiques Centre and then his facial expression matched Gloria’s.

He had been into the 
centre recently and bought the three-seater sofa, 
along with a two-seater sofa and two chairs for just £1,000.

I knew I recognised the suite because it’s not often I see a full set of furniture like this.

You can be lucky enough to find a beautiful easy chair or a lovely Victorian sofa for example, but to see a four-piece leather suite like this one was, in such good condition, I knew I’d seen it somewhere before.

Chesterfield was the first fully-upholstered sofa and originated in mid-Victorian times, which was poss-
ibly the golden age of upholstery.

Stuffing had been growing steadily thicker from the 1840s and (the now famous) buttons were introduced to prevent the thread that held the stuffing in place from pulling the covering material.

My son Jimmy handles all the furniture at the centre and when we told him, he just laughed.

He said he’d have recognised it anywhere even though it hadn’t been on sale for long before being snapped up.

The restaurant owner said that his customers often remark upon it, asking where it’s from and saying they’ll make a special journey to GB Antiques to check the furniture out for themselves.