Spencelayhs identified the makers and age of the objects and has already sold the table to a collector and the clock is on the market.
Steven Fyfe from the firm said: “We usually like to buy privately but when we manage to spot something great at auction it is always worth bidding. We are very happy with these recent successes.”
The table was bought for £420 in a timed online sale in the Midlands where it had been described as a novelty table.
In fact, it is a George II triple folding harlequin games table by Thomas Potter, a cabinetmaker in High Holborn in the 1730s. Potter of Holborn was working in the vanguard of the French taste associated with the St Martin’s Lane group of cabinetmakers and John Channon’s brass-inlaid furniture in particular.
Fyfe added: “I have read many books on the works of Thomas Potter and John Channon and recalled Potter’s trade card, held at the V&A, which showed an identical table so I was quite confident that this was by him. Very few of these come up for sale and those that have in the past have realised between £20,000 and £50,000.”
He describes the table as a “real tour de force in cabinet making” which includes a tea table, backgammon and chess table, drawers, document holders, pigeonholes and a fitted bookrest with inkwells.
After some light restoration by Chapman Restorations in Cosgrove the table was offered at a Hansons auction in May but has now been sold to a private collector in Kent for a five-figure sum.
Spencelayhs is currently marketing the rare William III clock bought at a sale in the Home Counties for a hammer price of £2200. It was correctly catalogued as a John Miller month duration longcase clock in a black lacquered case with an ‘arched’ dial.
However, Fyfe identified that the clock had in fact a square dial with the arch being added at a later date in keeping with fashions and the case added later.
Fyfe replaced that case, removed the arch and added a correct case for the period (a walnut caddy topped case which the dealership had in stock).
John Miller (d.1702) was apprentice to Samuel Knibb until 1667 when he became apprentice to Knibb’s younger cousin Joseph. According to Fyfe, this clock may well have been one of his last. Although a number of bracket clocks are known by Miller, perhaps only one other long case is currently known. It is now for sale for £25,995 at Spencelayhs.
Spencelayhs, named for the artist Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958), operates online and by strict appointment.