Two chairs sold with a sofa, all probably Austrain c.1780-1800, which took €24,000 (£21,400) together at Hargesheimer.

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With their ebonised and partly gilt x-frame legs, crescent-shaped backs and gilded lion heads they were certainly eye-catchers.

The ensemble offered on March 9 with its 5ft 7in (1.7m) wide sofa was catalogued as Austrian, presumably Vienna, from c.1780-1800 and was in the sales catalogue with a very modest guide of €2500.

Bidders from home and abroad had hoped for a bargain, but in the event, the German buyer on the phone was taken to €24,000 (£21,400) before he could claim his prize.