Among the withdrawals from Bonhams’ November 3 furniture sale was this Regency larchwood, banded and rosewood marquetry centre table. Restorer Dennis Buggins provided a photograph dated January 15, 1997 showing the template he had used to inlay the base.

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"We have withdrawn the lots to investigate further a number of issues which have recently come to light", said the auction house in a statement. "The background to the lots in question has not been established one way or the other. We will continue to investigate until we get to the bottom of the matter."

Bonhams was supplied with a list of 14 items on the morning before the sale, after Hobbs' former restorer Dennis Buggins provided evidence to suggest that four of the lots on the list had undergone significant alteration in his workshop in the 1990s. The auctioneer, unhappy with the response from their female vendor, acted promptly and removed all 14 items, as well as two others, from sale.

Unlike last month's sale of the unrestored stock of John Hobbs Fine Art at Heathfield Auction Rooms in East Sussex which fetched £90,000, the items consigned to Bonhams all appear to have been previously offered for sale by John Hobbs at his Dove Walk, Pimlico Road showroom.

Buggins, who is in litigation with John Hobbs (a preliminary hearing in the case was held in October), said he did not recognise all the items but provided documentary photographs to support his claim to have worked on at least four. The embellishment he carried out for his client went well beyond the confines of acceptable restoration - but has proved very hard to spot.

In respect of "a Regency larchwood, banded and rosewood marquetry centre table, attributed to George Bullock", originally offered for sale by Hobbs at £37,000 and estimated by Bonhams at £10,000-15,000, Buggins said the bracket feet had been altered and a new rosewood design inlaid to the platform base to enhance its connection to Bullock.

A lot catalogued as "set of eight 19th century carved mahogany dining chairs in the Chippendale style", originally offered for sale by Hobbs at £120,000 and estimated to fetch £8000-12,000, had been "aged" said Buggins by wax polishing and staining the leathers. New eagle's heads had also been carved into the terminals of the arms on two armchairs to "appeal to the American market".

A bold shell-carved moulded frieze had been added to "a George III Irish carved mahogany centre table" (estimate £20,000-30,000) while a "Regency carved giltwood and ebonised pier mirror (estimate £5000-7000)" had been created from a period picture frame with the addition of a newly carved lotus leaf cartouche. Both pieces had been offered for sale in Hobbs' shop at prices just under £40,000.

Since 2008, when allegations surfaced that former BADA member John Hobbs had sold as genuine antiques, furniture that was largely the creation of his Kent-based restorer Buggins, both Sotheby's and Christie's have withdrawn lots provenanced to John Hobbs and his brother Carlton Hobbs. Buggins turned 'whistleblower' following a bitter financial dispute with his long-term employers.

In June this year, Bonhams drew praise for re-cataloguing an apparently important pair of 'Russian' commodes in the Owston Collection sale in Sydney. As reported in ATG 1954, August 28, they correctly identified them as having been made for the Princes of Thurn and Taxis but extensively remodelled and embellished between 1993, when they were sold at Sotheby's, and 2006 when they were acquired from John Hobbs by Australian property developer Warren Anderson.

Buggins subsequently confirmed that the commodes had been radically altered in his workshop.