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The mahogany table, with its plain fluted column and triform base, currently measures around 6ft (1.83m) diameter, but to the underside were the mounts (numbered 1-8) that suggested it was originally made to take extra crescent-shaped leaves.

Recent auction precedent has marked radially-expanding dining tables of this quality (Gillows were suggested as a candidate) as perhaps the most sought-after 19th century furniture forms.

This example (regrettably no adequate illustration was available) clearly needed new leaves but the £1500-2500 estimate allowed acres of room for restoration costs. In fact trade bidding rose to £45,000.

Among other notable results posted at this Cheltenham sale was the £1950 paid for a rare Staffordshire figure of explorer Captain Cook modelled wearing a cobalt jacket with his arm resting on a navigation chart. This time the top estimate was a more accurate £1500.