Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Thus it was perhaps their stamp of quality that helped spur the bidding on these two Adam Revival occasional tables, which came up for sale at Lawrences of Crewkerne on October 17 as part of a three-day sale (including the Charborough Park stables event on September 30) that is expected to raise £1m.

The tables, painted with intricate foliate decoration and figures on a green ground, came from the same source with estimates of £2000-3000 apiece but went their separate ways for £22,000 each (plus 15 per cent premium).

“It’s a long time since such jewel-like pieces from Wright & Mansfield came on the market,” said auctioneer Richard Gold, “and these were a couple of gems. We were hoping they would make £10,000 each, but on the day every member of staff was manning phones or taking calls on their mobiles and we still had to turn telephone bidders away.”

The dainty proportions of the tables, given pride of place in and on the back cover of the catalogue, were an added attraction. The square example, 171/2in (44.5cm) wide, went west to a Bath dealer and the round version, 15in (38cm) diameter, headed east to an East Anglian buyer.