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Lawrences, Bletchingley June 7-9. Buyer’s premium: 12.5 per cent

Among the furniture, it was the usual tale of quality material doing well but cheaper material, as Mr Page said, “very hard to move, even traditional shippers took a bit of persuasion”.

A William IV mahogany breakfront bookcase led the way. Comprising a central section with flame mahogany and rosewood crossbanded doors, flanked by open shelves with satinwood half columns, it was in “sleepy, untouched” condition and tripled the top estimate going to the trade at £3800.

Going at five times estimate was a George III three-seater, shaped back, mahogany and upholstered sofa. It needed restoration but sold to the trade at £1550.

More in line with expectations were two sets of eight (six plus two) dining chairs. The Regency mahogany bar-back chairs, with inlaid backs and decorative panels, took £3500 and the Victorian rosewood, kidney-back chairs took £1600.

Ceramics were buoyant enough for what they were and included a surprise £780 bid on a Beswick shire horse and foal with restuck tail which had been left unestimated.

The usually eclectic miscellaneous section attracted tremendous private interest.

The offerings included an unusual green and orange-stained Staunton pattern ivory chess set in original papier-mâché box which sold at £1350.