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Its top, with serpentine corners, was badly split, but its value lay in the skilfully executed base with its triple supports finishing in paw feet which were beautifully carved with acanthus leaves.

Bidding rose quickly in the room to £4000 after which two telephone buyers battled it out for ownership. It sold to one of them at £5400.

Other furniture included an 18th century comb-back chair with a central vase splat which was taken to £910 by a buyer in the room. Best of the clocks was an early 19th century oak longcase signed Thos Cragg, Horsham which doubled its top estimate, selling to a local private buyer at £1100.

Best seller among the ceramics was a Moorcroft vase painted in the Pomegranate pattern on a mottled green ground, the signature in green and with an inscription to the base Made for Robert. Like the tilt-top table, this also had four telephone lines booked.

Two telephone bidders contested the vase to £1000 when it was secured by a specialist dealer.