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The late 16th century table, which measures 10ft 3in (3.1m) when extended via its single draw leaf, comes from Bridwell House, Devon. The present house was built in 1762 but records show a house that was leased on the site in 1610 and, according to family tradition, there was an even earlier property that was destroyed by fire at the end of the 16th century from which this table is reputed to have been rescued.

Purchased at Sotheby’s in 1981, the table subsequently featured in a loan exhibition at Grosvenor House in 1998. The single draw leaf form of this table is very rare, which doubtless contributed to its substantial estimate and price, as did its very original condition (lacking only some of the mouldings to the apron) and its fine Corinthian column legs.

Not one but two oak refectory tables, numerous panel-back armchairs, around 40-50 joint stools and a similar number of coffers and boxes supported by numerous carved panels and figures plus lighting and utensils in metalware, featured in this 400-lot collection which was notable not just for the high proportion of early, 16th and 17th century, pieces but also for their high degree of original condition in a field where alterations and restoration occur frequently.

Clive Sherwood, the man responsible for assembling the collection, began putting it together back in the 1950s buying at auction and through the London and Cotswold trade and constantly upgraded his holdings over the years. The owner of a patent law practice, he also collected and restored vintage cars and was planning to take a 1906 Darracq on the London-to-Brighton run at the time of his death last year.

The sale generated just over the projected £1m at £1.15m, with a healthy 79 per cent of the lots changing hands. The auctioneers reported plenty of private buyers competing with the trade and also US input via the phones and commissions. Among the most keenly contested entries in the sale were a James I panel-back armchair of c.1620 exuberantly carved to the tall back with stylised thistle heads (suggesting a Scottish origin) that fetched £32,000 from a UK collector against telephone competition, and a 20in (58cm) high, English carved oak figure of a knight wearing armour, dated to the second half of the 15th century that was pursued to £26,000, selling to a private American collector.