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Spotted by Halls auctioneer Adrian Byrne during a routine visit to look at some “rather uninteresting” taxidermy at a house in Prestatyn, North Wales, the bookcase had been made in about 1810 and passed by descent to the present owner who was unaware of its value.

Although rather plain, the bookcase was in original condition even down to the gilding on the brass handles. Private buyers and the trade battled it out against a £3000-5000 estimate, with the London trade on the telephone eventually taking it at £12,500.

One other interesting lot was a Christmas card signed by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The card, printed on Cartier paper, was sent from Government House in the Bahamas, where the Duke and Duchess were effectively exiled during the war by a concerned British Government. Showing the couple standing on a balcony and signed Edward and Wallis Windsor, it took £450 from a specialist collector of royal memorabilia.