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Waals, who spent most of his adult life in the Cotswolds, worked as Ernest Gimson's foreman from 1901-19 but the following year - with the input of designer Norman Jewson - he set up his own workshop at Halliday's Mill in the nearby village of Chalford where he made high quality furniture in the Arts and Crafts tradition until 1937.

Although it came with little in the way of provenance from a Somerset deceased estate, this 4ft 3in (1.30m) high by 3ft 4in (1.01m) wide secretaire was thought to date from the early part of that period.

A 1930s photograph in the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum archive collection shows Waals and his team working on a secretaire of this type. Another was among the cache of Waals furniture from Topps, Stockton, Warminster sold by Woolley & Wallis back in October 1978.

Estimated at £4000-6000 at the sale on October 29, Bearne's beautifully-made piece attracted 12 phone bidders. The successful purchaser was believed to be buying it for his own collection.

A 6ft (1.83m) Waals dining table with a chequer strung edge, from the same source, sold at £6200.

Bonhams have previously sold two similar - but less sophisticated - secretaires by Waals dated c.1925. One, made for Dorothy Florence Pilkington whose family owned Pilkington Tiles and the Royal Lancastrian Pottery, sold for £5000 in June 2008 while another, commissioned for Lucy Cadbury (nee Tangye) the daughter-in-law of one of the Cotswold School's most prominent patrons William A Cadbury, was sold in September 2002.

The buyer's premium was 23.4%.