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Offered the right piece of the right size – which does matter – the market responds. It did so in the case of the sale’s top seller, a fine mid-19th century dining table extending to a huge 16ft (4.88m) with its seven extra leaves in varying sizes and their original pine leaf cabinet.

Standing on eight turned and gadrooned tapering legs, the table, said Mr Lambert “evoked feelings of splendour and grandeur as it must have stood in the most magnificent dining room.”

For many years, however, it has been travelling with the same family from one house to another and most recently resided in a local council house, the leaves carefully stored in their cabinet.

As a result, there was some difference in colour to the table top when fully extended, but the piece (needing only a little work) was in the sort of original, untouched condition the trade a’ways likes and is prepared to pay for.

Mr Lambert had put an (unpublished) estimate of £5000-8000 on it and commission bids made certain it would at least sell within that band. On the day, however, trade interest took it beyond hopes and it finally sold to a Channel Islands dealer at £11,000. Mr Lambert observed: “It would be interesting to follow the table’s progress and see where it ends up after a little restoration.”

The selective nature of the market was, however, also seen in a winning bid of £1200 on a 4ft 10 1/2in tall by 4ft wide (1.49 x 1.22m) Regency rosewood collector’s cabinet entered by an Oxford college. An attractive piece with no fewer than 38 drawers behind doors with gilt metal trellis and silk-backing above a central cupboard, it would, thought Mr Lambert “have made a few hundred pounds more several years ago.”

Clocks and barometers, however, continue to sell steadily with a good 19th century, eight-day mahogany-cased bracket clock leading the way. With a pagoda top and an 8 1/2in (22cm) diameter arched silvered dial signed John Hall & Co, 56, King Street, Manchester, and a movement striking on eight bells and a gong, it sold to the Irish trade at £2300.