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In its favour was its walnut veneer and market freshness, having come from a local private vendor. Its size, a fairly modest 5ft by 4ft 2in (1.52m x 1.27m), seemed neither a plus nor a minus factor and, similarly, the fact that the leather insert may have been original was to some extent negated by tears. The major point against the desk was that it had suffered considerable sun-bleaching, which is why the Welsh auctioneers had given it an (unpublished) estimate of £2000-4000. However, the desk aroused considerable national interest – six bidders in the room battled it out with two on the phone before a Midlands trade buyer saw off his rivals with a winning bid of £14,000.

The desk was obviously the highlight of the 550-lot sale with other prices including a mahogany serpentine front serving table consigned fron the same property as the previous, which took £1700 and a mahogany dining table which got away despite missing its original leaves for £1650, which brought £410 despite being in need of restoration.