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contest the unusual hybrid - a large elbow chair that combines the features of the archetypal English joined country chair alongside the timber and the fine modelling one associates with urban cabinetmaking from the middle years on the 18th century.

Christie's had sold another, perhaps more sophisticated, 'formal' Windsor chair in a King Street fine furniture sale on April 22 for £38,000 (plus 19.5 per cent buyer's premium) while others have been through the hands of leading members of the antique furniture trade.

Estimated at a very modest £800-1200, this market-fresh Oxford chair, with a spindle missing to an arm, sold to a London dealer at £23,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).