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It was one of these, an art-cased Broadwood concert grand, that provided the high point of Piano Auctions' (15% buyer's premium) sale on July 1 at Conway Hall, Holborn when it sold for £65,000.

The piano, which had a mahogany case inlaid with exotic woods designed by Arthur Blomfield, had also previously been owned by the first Viscount Leverhulme and the instrument had been shown at the Paris and Glasgow international exhibitions of 1901.

In total, the auctioneers found buyers for 86 of the 100 lots offered, for a net total of £224,335.

The July 1 sale completes a year of trading for the firm, which was set up by Richard Reason and Sean McIlroy, formerly of Bonhams and Phillips, who specialise in the niche market of piano sales.

To date Piano Auctions have held four sales offering 430 lots and selling 391 of them for a turnover of £760,460.

"The demand for quality pianos such as Steinway, Bosendorfer and Bechstein has never been greater, especially in art cases," commented Richard Reason.