Porter’s chair – £4800 at Batemans.

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Catalogued as Georgian or a little earlier at Batemans (20% buyer’s premium) April 10 sale in Stamford, the 4ft 7in (1.40m) tall oak chair had a hinged panel below the solid seat chair to reveal a useful storage compartment.

Pitched at £400-600, about what the vendor recalled paying 32 years ago, it sparked a four-way battle among online bidders before selling at £4800.

Strong result

Delighted with that result, the vendor then consigned into the auction house’s May 1 sale a 17th century German iron strongbox which he bought at Christie’s South Kensington in 1986 along with the receipt showing the hammer price of £450.

The 2ft 5in (73cm) wide box is of a type which, although produced in quantity in the Nuremberg area from the late 16th to the 18th centuries, later became known as ‘Armada chests’.


17th century strongbox – £1850 at Batemans.

With hammered riveted joints throughout and decorated with an engraved pierced frieze of four male profiles with rams’ horns, it had wrought-iron carrying handles and came with one working key to lift the lid – although the key for the internal strongbox with its elaborate and engraved mechanism was missing.

Again reflecting the original purchase price, it was pitched at £500-800 but went to a specialist dealer at £1850.