The Victorian inlaid ebony table cabinet sold at ELR Auctions for £60,000.

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Modelled as a Gothic cathedral, and measuring 18 x 15in (45 x 38cm), its full glory is only revealed upon the opening of two side-door panels, elaborately inlaid with brass, tulipwood, abalone and mother of pearl, with scenes from the interior of King's College Chapel, Cambridge.

The drawer fascias on the left-hand side depict Kew Palace; the entrance to the Old House of Lords; Kenilworth Castle; Brighton Pavilion; Windsor Castle; Dover Castle and Caernarvon Castle. The two hinged doors depict Holyrood House and Westminster Abbey.

Those on the right depict Virginia Water; Hampton Court Palace; Edinburgh Castle; Bushy Park; Kensington Palace; Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London. The doors depict St Paul's Cathedral and St James's Palace.

The primary panel carries the signature F L Hausburg Fecit Liverpool and the inscription Begun in 1840 Finished in 1857.

Working in Paris, Friedrich Ludwig Hausburg was granted naturalisation in 1840 by Queen Victoria, and work on the cabinet started that year.

He opened a jewellery and watch business in Liverpool at 24 Church Street, the old Post Office building, with his business partner and uncle, August Promoli (also naturalised in 1840).

Desks, dressing cases, work and writing boxes, lamps and chandeliers are occasionally found bearing the company name. But this cabinet, made over a large proportion of his working life, is surely Hausburg's masterpiece.

The vendor was a local lady who, not appreciating its finer points, had kept in housed in the loft.

A pre-sale estimate of £5000-7000 was placed on the cabinet but by the view something closer to £30,000-50,000 was being suggested.

The competition came almost exclusively from trade bidders, some on the telephone and some in the room. It ultimately sold to one of the phones at £60,000 (plus 15 per cent premium) - double ELR's previous house record.

By Roland Arkell