Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Instead, the majority of pieces are coming from sources who need to sell quickly like deceased estates and elderly clients downsizing to sheltered housing.

Such was the case with a 19th century mahogany cylinder front bureau. The bureau, which was large at 5ft 7in (1.70m) wide, had once been housed at the Hampton Court Stud where it had been used by George V and Elizabeth II during their visits there.

Following refurbishment in the 1980s it had been given to the stud’s vet whose wife was the Surrey vendor. This provenance almost certainly helped the bureau, reach the middle of a bullish estimate. With a fitted interior, adjustable pull-out writing surface, a three-drawer frieze and another three drawers down either side, the bureau took £1800 from the trade, making it the top furniture seller.

Elsewhere among the furniture a 19th century Sheraton Revival mahogany serpentine sideboard also found favour with the trade.

In good condition, the sideboard, with patterned boxwood and ebony-inlaid borders, a front inlaid with fans and shells and a single central drawer flanked by a cupboard on either side, seemed a good buy at £1200.

More of a surprise was the bidding on a 1930s walnut chest of three drawers with angular simulated ivory handles and a shagreen inlaid top. Against a £50-100 estimate the 3ft (91cm) wide chest went to a dealer bidding on the phone at £1050.
Best of the clocks was a 7ft 51/2in (2.27m) high late 18th century oak and mahogany banded longcase.

With an eight-day movement by Samuel Whalley, the clock had a dial with a moonphase and painted landscapes to the arch, and sold above estimate at £2800.

Topping the ceramics was a pair of Coalport jars with sheepmask handles and covers topped with pineapple finials. Standing 16in (41cm) tall, the jars were painted with panels of fruit and signed Chivers against a dark blue ground and gilt borders. They doubled top hopes when they sold to the London trade at £1300.

A 19th century sampler bought for £15 at a fête near Woking proved a huge hit with buyers. Samplers are currently in high demand and this example, which was embroidered with the words Ann Harcom work’d in the tenth year of her age, went to a South Coast buyer on the telephone for £690.

The silver market has suffered over the last few decades but in recent months the market for good quality flatware and table silver – anything usable – has been on the rise. At Send, a Victorian Old English pattern set of flatware appealed to the London trade. The set comprised 64 pieces including dessert spoons and forks, two ladles and table spoons and forks and bore marks for London 1895/6. With a total weight of 117oz (3.64kg), the set was knocked down for an over-estimate £1300.
More and more privates are buying table silver to use in their own homes and this was the case with a George II salver. London-made and dated 1742, the 14in (36cm) wide salver had a shell and scroll border and was on four scroll feet.
It brought £720.

Ewbanks, Send, December 13
Number of lots: 514
Number of lots sold: n/a
Sale total: n/a
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent