This Chippendale period pier glass sold to London dealer Ronald Phillips for £80,000 at Byrne’s sale in Saltney, Chester.

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One underbidder described it as the best Chippendale period mirror to be offered on the provincial market for 20 years. He likened its quality and rarity to those seen in Dumfries House in Scotland, recently saved for the nation.

Decorated in the Chinese taste, the mirror resembles a pier glass illustrated in The Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director and showed an imaginative use of French Rococo and English Orientalism, both prevalent styles at the time.

Undaunted by the need for extensive restoration, it was purchased on the telephone by London dealer Ronald Phillips at £80,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium), a new house record for Byrne's.