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Bonhams Robert Wotherspoon reckoned it had taken a little time for viewing to transfer from Chelsea to the new permanent Knightsbridge location, but things are now bedding in and with regular buyers now finding their feet back at Montpelier Street there has been what he described as “a steady increase”.

Selling rates have gradually picked up from around 40 per cent of the lots for the first two January sales to a more encouraging 63 per cent for the most recent, held on February 4.

This last event also contained one of the more interesting pieces to be offered so far. Encapsulating what Mr Wotherspoon reckoned were the most desirable qualities in a lot: “anything unusual, clean, private-looking and realistically estimated” was this set of Victorian mahogany folding library steps in unrestored condition. An object of strong trade interest, they easily outstripped expectations of £350-450 to sell for £1800.

Top lot of the auction was a piece of early 18th century walnut, a featherbanded escritoire with a frieze drawer over a fall front enclosing a fitted interior. Repairs to the veneering had prompted a fairly low key £1200-1800 estimate, but there was enough interest on the day to take the bidding to £2800.