David spent 25 years refining the highly respected Oak Interior Sale at Bonhams into a globally recognised
brand, selling numerous acclaimed collections and forging ground-breaking results time and again. With up to
five specialist sales a year he’s handled a wider variety of prestigious pieces of period oak and related works
of art than anyone else of his generation. With ‘Houlston’, David now brings this unrivalled wealth of
experience back to the start of his career, which saw him independently selling antiques directly to the likes
of Ralph Lauren and Liberty at just 21. Following a degree in Art History, Carolyn became an assistant to
Christopher Gilbert, the renowned furniture historian, at Temple Newsam, Leeds and it was after joining Phillips
Auctioneers that she became captivated by antique textiles. The astonishing range of resources, production
techniques, creative expression and significance which stemmed over centuries from a simple human desire for
warmth and comfort resonates with Carolyn’s own creativity. Her love of vernacular oak shared with David
influences (without constraining) the textile collection; it concentrates on 16th to 18th century European items
alongside more eclectic choices.
It’s impossible not to mention having passion for the items despite it sounding such a cliché. A
passion for antiques is utterly fundamental to our profession and there is no better noun to
describe the level of enthusiasm required to find, care for and share desirable antiques. We’ve
always done it, are compelled to do it, so we’ve made it our business.
We are a spouse team who first met as colleagues in the auction world and have continued to live,
collect, work and bring up our family with antiques ever since. We have never felt pressurised to
obey convention; mixing our similar yet distinctive tastes and interests adds a novel character to
our collection which we hope you will find appealing.
Together we source a combination of authentic, beautiful and useful period British oak furniture,
complimentary objects and antique textiles offering homeowners and interior designers alike
components for exquisite, practical rooms. We choose items we would most like to keep, those which
resonate with humanity and soul in their design, show signs of use and decorative qualities. A
purely attractive antique is tempting but so much the better if it’s functional too; there’s
enormous pleasure in living with early furniture which still serves its original, useful purpose. It
helps our fragile planet if we continue to appreciate and use these items rather than encourage a
throwaway culture in the furnishing choices we make.
David is well recognised for his proven depth of knowledge of period oak and metalwares, and
together we have over four decades of experience. Proud of our integrity, we are friendly and
approachable to work with, caring deeply about exceptional customer service. We always carry an
extensive stock in addition to the items shown so if you can’t see what you are looking for please
do get in touch and of course, we can arrange worldwide shipping for you.
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