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Original condition is an important factor in all period furniture, but it is crucial in metamorphic furniture because the moving parts are liable to alteration. In cosmetic terms, too, this item of artisan’s equipment was untouched – not even the brass barrel castors and axe head handles had been replaced.

Believed to have been consigned from the estate of a deceased
architect, the 3ft by 23in (91 x 58cm) table was sold to the London trade at £24,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium).