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Howard & Sons Edwardian sofa – £4400 at 1818 Auctioneers.

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The 6ft (1.83m) wide sofa was catalogued as “an Edwardian Chesterfield style settee having floral upholstery, on tapered legs. Needs re-upholstery, springs seem OK” and pitched at £70-100.

A closer look revealed one leg was stamped for the high-quality and in-demand firm of Howard & Sons. It had been in the villa since new: the original fabric was visible under the later chintzy cover. It sold to a UK buyer via thesaleroom.com at £4400.