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In addition to the furniture, there was a smaller selection of English and European ceramics in this 261-lot sale that generated considerable local private interest and sold a respectable 70 per cent by lot to the tune of £638,360.

A George III mahogany breakfront library bookcase, c.1770, brought the biggest money. In excellent condition and with a rich patina, it sold to a private buyer on the telephone for £50,000.

In the mid-18th century, the facade and main rooms of Croft Castle were re-modelled and re-decorated in the Gothic style but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the family began to buy
furniture to complement the interiors.

The foremost English Gothic-style furniture entry was the set of four George III mahogany side chairs, c.1760, pictured right.

The backs of these chairs conformed closely to the Gothic chair design in Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director, 1754, and it was this design rather than their provincial quality that elicited a £16,000 bid from a UK collector of Gothic furniture.