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The whole of the 4ft 21/2in by
2ft 41/2in (1.28m x 72cm) desk was painted and decorated in the classical manner with each end panel painted with classical scenes and the back panels inlaid with ribbon-tied laurel wreaths.

Bowed on all sides and with a tooled leather writing surface to the rectangular top which had fruitwood and satinwood crossbanding, the desk had been in the same Lincolnshire family for many years. The care shown it – the vendor recalls her aunt rushing home whenever the sun shone to cover it – was evident in its condition.

Of great colour, it had suffered only one major loss – one of the legs had been broken off but auctioneer John Monroe pointed out: “The vendor still had the original leg and it was a clean break and could be easily repaired.”

With hopes of up to £6000, the desk saw bids on three phone lines and in the room and was knocked down to a London dealer at £14,000.